Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp asked the state Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon to overrule a Fulton County judge’s order in the long-running border dispute between Bibb and Monroe counties.
Fulton Superior Court Judge Kelly Lee has ruled that Kemp can’t accept more evidence, from a surveyor or from the counties, before making a decision. But Kemp says more evidence is essential in order to set the border.
“Initially, Secretary Kemp did not make a determination of the boundary line because he did not feel there was sufficient evidence in the record,” Thursday’s filing says. “His duty has now been clarified by this Court -- he must determine the boundary line after considering the law and the evidence. Secretary Kemp believes that his review of additional evidence ... is essential to that duty.”
The border dispute between Monroe and Bibb counties has gone on for a decade. At issue is property tax revenue from a small area of land, which includes the parking lot of the Bass Pro Shops complex and some nearby neighborhoods as well as school districts and other government services in those areas.
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A surveyor’s line would have given the land to Monroe County in 2009, but Kemp said that survey was inconclusive.
Lee ordered Kemp to use the survey, but in March the Supreme Court said Lee couldn’t essentially dictate a decision to Kemp. Kemp then said he would take additional evidence from the surveyor, but Monroe County challenged that, and Lee backed Monroe County. That sent Kemp back to the Supreme Court with the current appeal.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.