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County, Richmond Hill to go back to court in March

Barring a schedule change, it looks like Richmond Hill and Bryan County will have another day in court March 4.

That meeting comes after attorneys for the two sides spent about half an hour discussing a handful of legal points Tuesday before Ogeechee Judicial Court Judge John Turner in Pembroke.

The two governments are at odds over issues tied to Bryan County’s recent vote to equalize the millage rate across the county and the state-required service delivery strategy in which the governments agree on which delivers what service to residents.

That agreement, which has been under an extension since the summer of 2018, is set to expire at the end of February.

Both Bryan County commissioners and Pembroke city council members voted this month to extend the agreement until June. Richmond Hill council did not vote on the matter.

Without the extension, the state could impose sanctions on the various governments, though Turner could issue an order to put a temporary halt to them while the two sides mediate.

Bryan County’s tax hike in August of slightly less than 1 mill on residents of Richmond Hill, bringing it in line with those of residents in Pembroke and the unincorporated parts of the county, prompted the city to file suit.

The county said it was illegal to tax residents differently for the same services. Richmond Hill disputes that it gets all those services, and that the county owes its taxpayers money.

Both sides have accused the other of failing to negotiate.

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