City of Grand Prairie to Begin Mediation with County
Grand Prairie city council members are ready to move onto the next step in the city’s dispute with the -County of Grand Prairie regarding the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework. Both sides are trying to arrange mediation, but an in-person attempt was deemed unsafe due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
As an alternative, Mayor Bill Given said the province was told the city is ready to work out details about how the matter can proceed at this point. According to Mayor Given, “The motion [passed Monday] was essentially city council saying, ‘we think it is important for us to get this resolved as soon as practical, and we are ready to move forward as soon as the COVID-19 situation allows us.”
The mayor also acknowledged that the outbreak of the virus and what has followed made it possible for both sides to agree to an extended deadline. Since a face-to-face meetup is not possible at the moment, the mayor claims the city council is acting in good faith regarding any possibility of upcoming negotiations.
The mayor also explained the original intention was to have a traditional in-person mediation and do the same for arbitration if mediation is not successful. The goal was also to have the entire process completed by Mach 31, 2021 at the latest.
The goal of the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework is to help the two governments share information as efficiently as possible, especially regarding projects that impact them both.
The county claims the two decided to proceed with mediation after it was recommended by Municipal Affairs. The deadline has now been extended to April 2021 and both parties report they are confident a solution will be reached via mediation.