County to vote on new SPLOST

Tue, 08/11/2009 - 4:09pm
By: John Munford

The Fayette County Commission is expected Thursday to approve putting a 1 percent sales tax on the Nov. 3 ballot for voter consideration.

The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax would raise up to $135 million over a six-year period, with the centerpiece being a $55 million expense to pay off debt early for the county’s Justice Center. The new SPLOST would begin in April when the current transportation SPLOST is due to expire.

The SPLOST election would occur during normally scheduled dates for the municipal elections, but a special election will be needed to open the polls for voters in unincorporated Fayette County.

Other SPLOST projects to be funded by the county include $5 million for a speculative university campus, $2 million for an emergency operations center and $3.5 million to replace county fire stations located in the cities of Fayetteville and Tyrone.

The county is also proposing to spend $30.5 million on a variety of specific transportation and building projects and another $11 million on unspecified transportation projects.

Fayette is also proposing a total of six corridor improvements on New Hope Road, Lee’s Mill Road, Kenwood Road, Tyrone Road, Sandy Creek Road and Westbridge Road. Each of those projects are projected to cost upwards of $1 million.

In Peachtree City, the big ticket items for SPLOST funds includes $6 million set aside for street resurfacing and $2.9 million for cart path resurfacing, extensions and construction.

The city is also proposing to pay down $2.6 million in debt from the library and airport bonds along with another general bond issue. The city also would spend $2.81 million to pay off a lease purchase debt instrument.

Among other large-scale projects for Peachtree City include two cart path bridges at a cost of $1.9 million each: one over Hwy. 74 North and the other over Ga. Highway 54 East. Other cart path projects include $1.14 million for a tunnel underneath Rockaway Road to connect with Meade Field and $1.01 million for the path connections for a tunnel underneath Hwy. 74 South that will be located at the Rite-Aid pharmacy. The Rite-Aid tunnel will be built by the state as part of the highway road widening project due to start later this year.

Fayetteville’s proposed SPLOST projects include $1.2 million for bike, pedestrian and multi-use path improvements, $1 million for street resurfacing and another $1 million for citywide grid/connectivity projects.

Fayetteville is also projecting to spend $750,000 on intersection improvements citywide, $950,000 on median improvements and $400,000 for a roundabout at Redwine and Ramah roads.

On Fayetteville’s “alternate projects” list are $1.94 million for bond debt retirement and another $527,000 to retire capital project loans. Also on the alternate list is $750,000 for a water-well interconnection project and $492,800 for a streetscape on Ga. Highway 85.

Tyrone would receive up to $2.7 million over the six-year SPLOST, with $1.4 million going toward street resurfacing, milling, patching and shoulder enhancement. Tyrone is also expecting to spend $490,000 to pave gravel roads and $485,000 to realign roads.

Tyrone also projects to spend $200,000 on miscellaneous cart path extensions and $127,000 on intersection improvement projects.

The town of Brooks would receive $663,000 from the SPLOST, with $250,000 going toward sidewalks and $70,000 to a library renovation.

The town of Woolsey would receive $256,000 from the SPLOST and is proposing to use it on a community center.

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Submitted by BillyD on Thu, 08/13/2009 - 6:11am.

Why would they want to change the normal 5 year term of this SPLOST to 6 years? Perhaps because a standard 5 year term would require that the next time the cookie jar gets raided would again be on an odd year(no big election to draw more voters). They are counting on a small voter turnout to be able to shove this SPLOST down our throats. More taxes-more taxes-more taxes. Enough is enough. Cut the budgets.

Submitted by ginga1414 on Wed, 08/12/2009 - 7:35pm.

There are a few facts concerning this latest SPLOST proposal and the Commissioners that should be scrutinized very carefully. I think we should all focus on the term “UNSPECIFIED PROJECTS.” The West Fayetteville Bypass was most assuredly an “unspecified project” on the last transportation SPLOST. It was so extremely UNSPECIFIED that it only appeared in a document called “Exhibit B,” which was buried in the County’s files. In order to find out definitively that the last Transportation SPLOST included the West Fayetteville Bypass, I had to ask the County to supply Exhibit B. It certainly didn’t appear on the ballot. Therefore, voters had no idea they were voting to approve the West Fayetteville Bypass. That is DECEPTIVE, at best. So, “UNSPECIFIED PROJECTS” can mean anything just like “Road, Street, and Bridge Purposes” on the last SPLOST ballot actually included the West Fayetteville Bypass.

Also, we need to examine, very carefully, the words of Commission Chairman Jack Smith. Mr. Smith told the citizens of this county that the West Fayetteville Bypass wasn’t intended for “rampant development.” However, when Mr. Smith said that, he was very well aware of the fact that major wealthy land developers own many hundreds of acres along the Bypass/Parkway. Coincidentally, Mr. Jack Smith sits on the Board of The Bank of Georgia along with a large group of builders. According to Bank of Georgia officials, the BOG is “geared primarily to support the front-end of the building and construction industry in Fayette and Coweta counties.” Jack Smith also sits on the Board of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Coincidentally, the ARC paid for 80% of the Fayette County Transportation Study. Lastly, looking at the July 1, 2009 Commission Meeting Minutes, Chairman Smith told the Fayette County Road Department to speed up the process on the West Fayetteville Bypass Phase II.

We need to keep all these facts in mind in November when we are asked to vote on Jack’s new SPLOST. It is very clear there are hidden agendas.

Submitted by Fayette Resident on Wed, 08/12/2009 - 1:32pm.

I hope that others in this county will see that it is time to say NO to these Daydreaming LIBERAL Republicans who think that the answer to any fiscal situation is to raise or continue taxes. The problem is on the expense side. Time for even more cuts to take place if they feel there is a revenue issue. Stand up and Vote NO to the continuation. Who knows, maybe if Fayette County Sales Tax goes back to 6%, we might even see an increase in shopping that occurs in the County since we would be 1 to 2% cheaper than the surrounding areas. Just think how that would do also for those persons who need to buy a new/used car from a car dealer. Save an additional $100 to $300 on that car purchase by not having that extra penny sales tax. My vote will be NO!

Submitted by MacTheKnife on Wed, 08/12/2009 - 1:23pm.

A SPLOST.... lol.... that is soooooo funny.

Submitted by Bikepilot on Wed, 08/12/2009 - 6:53am.

Call them what you will but everytime a splost expires they want a new one. They should maybe consider this next time they want to build a multi million dollar bypass(expressway). I know they come from different funds but sure seems to me that things should be more considered, like education and the staff that supply the education. On second thought I guess it's all our own faults! We voted the splost and the herb commissioners in place. Well just as most Obama supporters are realizing, I guess some of us made a mistake. Well NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE THE CHANGES AND GET THE COUNTY BACK TO ITS ROOTS!! Lets vote some people into place that will put our hard earned money to work doing things that better the county not their own personal ties.

Submitted by Thunderchief on Thu, 08/13/2009 - 10:54am.

I agree with Bikepilot.

I have lived in PTC for 18 years, the majority had been 5% sales tax till a few years ago. They pushed and hammered to go to 6% claiming and swearing it was for the kids and school. They promised it would expire at 5 years.

Let me tell you something, they never want to let go. When was the last time they said "it's only for XXX time" and was that true?

I snickered in a condescending way with the 5 year promise saying they would always find a way to jack it up again.

I'm fed up with all the tax hikes, bring on the tea party people. Time to tell the pick pocket Gov't it is time to get more efficient and cut the waste.

My family is having to do that, me forced into early retirement and my wife's company bankrupt and closed. We found a way to get more efficient and cut the waste. Time for Fayette to do the same.

VOTE NO!!!!!

Spear Road Guy's picture
Submitted by Spear Road Guy on Tue, 08/11/2009 - 11:52pm.

They're NOT Republicans!!! They might call themselves Republicans, but they're not.

We've hit bottom with this tax and spend bunch!!! Vote them out.

Vote Republican

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 08/11/2009 - 8:52pm.

Ah heck, lets just say NO on this one.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

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