A series of meetings have been held with no compromise reached as representatives fought to keep or increase the amount now received.
After the last attempt, the decision was made that Cedartown and Rockmart would select an arbitrator. No date has been set for the next session.
Chairman Cleve Hartley, Polk County Board of Commissioners, opened the June meeting.
“I hope you left your feelings at the door,” he said. “The results may not be what we want but should be one we can all live with.”
Thereafter, he asked for and received no new proposals.
However, Commissioner Marshelle Thaxton pointed out that all entities have presented each case based on facts and numbers.
He said there is no magic formula to determine the correct percentages.
“The only way I can see for us to reach an agreement is to move into arbitration,” he said. “I do not have a problem with a third party making the decision.”
Cedartown Chair Dale Tuck called for a review of numbers previously presented.
County Manager Clinton Lester presented the following:
Initially, Aragon proposed 5 percent, Rockmart, the same as was received with SPLOST: Polk, 53.72, Cedartown, 24.84, Rockmart, 20.03, and Aragon. 1.41.
Later, Cedartown proposed: Polk, 48.5 percent, Cedartown, 33, Rockmart, 16, and Aragon, 2.5.
Then, Polk submitted the following: Polk, 58.63 percent, Cedartown, 23.87, Rockmart, 15.15, and Aragon, 2.35.
Mayor Ken Suffridge emphasized that Aragon’s original proposal was 5 percent. This number was later dropped to 3.45 percent and then 3.31 percent.
Thereafter, Manager Jeff Ellis asked the group discuss what service areas they could view for compromise.
Hartley suggested building inspection and code enforcement. Opinions varied on how this would work since each entity has different requirements.
Following other debate about pros and cons of services, the decision was made to go to arbitration.
Lester said, in a separate interview, that Polk and its municipalities annually receive about $5 million from LOST.
“If that money is not available, the decision would be made to reduce services or raise taxes,” he said.
“We are all facing the same issues with declining revenues and number crunching to meet budgets,” Rockmart Mayor Steve Miller said.