SPLOST UPDATE

The public meetings on the proposed SPLOST projects have come to an end.  You may recall the survey I sent out to about 500 citizens in District 4 with about 100 responding.  The results to my poll ONLY FAVORED the following:

  • Fire Department equipment/ vehicles/ fire house/renovations/construct new station.
  • Digital Radio System for Public Safety.

    Transportation – resurface roads/ intersection improvements/ upgrades

All other projects were voted down.

Another individual conducted his independent poll on Face Book which results mirrored mine.  Both surveys were turned in to the County Manager and to all the commissioners. The volunteer Citizens' Advisory Committee held their first meeting a couple of weeks ago and established their recommendation to the BOC of dividing the SPLOST funds, if passed.  They recommended the following:

  • 32% to Fire/EMS/Digital Radio – estimated @ $38 million
  • 55% to Transportation – estimated @ $67 million
  • 13% to Parks & Recreation – estimated @ $16 million

This was discussed at length at the Work Session held on June 30, with Commissioners Mitchell and Robinson asking that more funds be transferred out of Transportation into Parks and Recreation.    I reiterated again that Parks and Recreation was NOT even FAVORED in my district according to my poll and we should definitely not take any more funds out of Transportation and allocate it to Parks.  Even, the Chairman emphasized several times the importance of not undermining the Advisory Committee. However, between that meeting and the voting July 5 meeting, "IT had been decided to change the percentages" with about $5 million being transferred out of Transportation and into Parks and Recreation (Transportation to 51% and Parks to 17%). In speaking out against the change,  I also stated at this meeting the PROJECTS should drive the PERCENTAGE rather than visa versa.  However, I realized I was now opposing 4 commissioners who supported the change.   In order to meet the deadline to place the SPLOST issue on the November 8 ballot for the PEOPLE TO VOTE, the resolution was passed with the new percentages. 

The untimate decision will be left up to the voters.