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South Fulton cityhood bill clears first hurdle

7:16 AM, Feb 18, 2014   |    comments
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FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County soon could become the first county in Georgia that's fully incorporated.

A committee of the state House of Representatives approved legislation Monday that would let voters who live in unincorporated south Fulton County decide whether to form a city.

If approved during May's primary elections, the City of South Fulton would become the ninth largest in Georgia with a population of 87,478.

Because of the cityhood movement in metro Atlanta that began with Sandy Springs in 2005, every other portion of Fulton County other than the proposed boundaries of South Fulton already is part of a city.

Supporters of Sandy Springs and the cities in north Fulton that followed in its wake argued that city governments could provide services more efficiently than Fulton County while giving those cities' residents more control over their government.

On Monday, Rep. Roger Bruce (D-Atlanta), chief sponsor of the South Fulton cityhood bill, said the same holds true for the southern end of the county.

"People in the northern part of the county are making decisions for the southern part of the county, and they don't live there," he said. "All we're saying is, let's let people who live in the area decide what goes on in the area."

Rep. Virgil Fludd (D-Tyrone), one of the bill's cosponsors, said if the cityhood referendum passes, South Fulton would provide fire and police protection, zoning, parks and recreation. Other public services, including courts and libraries, would be provided by Fulton County.

The bill, which cleared the House Governmental Affairs Committee on Monday, now moves to the Rules Committee, which will decide whether to send it to the House floor for a vote.

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(Atlanta Business Chronicle)

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