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SPLOST IV bases project list off $190 mil in revenue

McDONOUGH — SPLOST IV committee members have completed their list of capital and district wide-projects based off an estimated $190 million in revenue, with 75 percent allocated to county projects.

SPLOST III brought in $176 million in revenue, but SPLOST IV committee chairman and District 5 representative Steve Cash said they hope to see the economy grow over the next six years.

“Historically, we went back and we projected the numbers to be 25 percent for the city and 75 percent for the county,” Cash said. “Now, the cities will divide up their portion of $47.5 million by population. When you take the $47.5 from the $190 million you get the estimated county funds of $142.5 million. From there, we came up with a number for our county-wide projects.”

$36 million will also be allocated toward county-wide projects, and $21.3 million will be designated to each district.

Based on these numbers, SPLOST IV committee members had to drastically revise their original wish-list of projects to fit within the figures, cutting more than $37 million.

Committee members originally hoped for almost $73 million for 14 county-wide projects including $12 million for 911 radio replacement, $2.5 million for a new amphitheater, $7 million for a new jail pod and $20 million for a new conference center.

In order to cut the list almost in half, several projects were kicked to the curb, including all quality of life projects.

Funds allocated toward an amphitheater, airport, conference center and aquatic center were cut to help reach a $35.8 million balance.

From there, each district also had to drastically edit their list of projects to fall within a $21.3 million budget, which had not previously been defined.

The commitee will present the final list to the Henry County Board of Commissioners in July, and they will have two weeks to make any changes to the list.

Commissioners will then draft a referendum to be placed on the November General Election ballot, asking voters to approve the 1-cent sales tax to fund the capital projects.

The sales tax rate is 7 cents but, with the SPLOST III tax set to expire in 2014, the rate would revert to 6 cents if the SPLOST IV referendum fails.

District 1

District 1, which includes Locust Grove, cut more than $13 million in projects from its original wish list with more than five capital projects getting the boot.

District 1 representatives Susan Craig and Andy Calloway removed $1 million toward the technical school, an undetermined amount toward Henry County Department of Transportation and public safety and $225,000 toward program management.

Current capital projects include a kitchen at the event center for $550,000 and a baseball field on Tanger Boulevard for $550,000.

They also reduced the amount designated toward the major transportation project on Bill Gardner Parkway to secure the right of way and increased the amount toward the major transportation project on McDonough Parkway.

Even though the cuts and redistribution of funds put District 1 at the $21.3 million budget, there were also 11 secondary projects that were left as “to be determined” and not included in the total amount.

The district has $1.1 million allocated toward capital projects and $21.3 million in transportation projects.

District 2

District 2, which includes Hampton, cut the most from its original wish-list at almost $39 million with more than $8 million coming from its capital projects list.

Eight capital projects were cut from the list, but four projects listed still remain as “to be determined” and are not included in the total figure.

District 2 allocated $3.5 million toward a senior and recreation center in Hampton and $50,000 toward a concession building in Avalon Park.

Other projects include new fire stations, a recreation center west of I-75, walking and biking trails in North Forty Park and four tennis courts in North Mt. Carmel Park.

District 2 representatives Arley Lowe an d Edward Toney also added nearly $2 million in intersection projects, with three priority two projects left as “to be determined.”

The district has $3.5 million in capital projects and $17.7 million in transportation projects.

District 3

District 3, which includes McDonough, cut the least from its project list at $5 million and its biggest loss was in capital projects and intersection improvements.

District 3 representatives John Smith and Richard Craig cut almost $2 million in ambulances, police cars, a new jail pod, animal control improvements and money toward the technical college building and the Henry County DOT.

Their current capital projects include $1.2 million toward improvements to the Jason Harper Arena, $25,000 for Heritage Park improvements and $1.5 million for North Ola Park improvements.

Smith and Craig also cut almost $2 million in intersection improvements to Elliott Road and SR 20.

District 3 has $2.7 million in capital projects and $18.5 million in transportation projects.

District 4

District 4, which includes Stockbridge and McDonough, added $3.6 million worth of projects to their list to bring them up to the $21.3 million figure designated to their district.

It was the only district conservative enough to be able to add projects to its list.

District 4 representatives Johnny Basler and Linda Moye chose to cut nearly $2 million in capital projects and increase their list of major transportation projects.

They elected to cut capital funds designated to the technical college building, amphitheater, public safety, DOT equipment and program management funds to add $3.8 million in miscellaneous road projects.

Basler told the committee the funds are listed as miscellaneous at the moment, because the district is hoping the city of Stockbridge will assist with certain road projects, such as the widening of Rock Quarry Road starting from Eagles Landing Parkway.

The Rock Quarry Road expansion is listed as “to be determined.”

The district has $6.2 million in capital projects and $15 million in transportation projects.

District 5

District 5, which includes Stockbridge, cut more than $23 million in projects from their original major transportation wish list.

Their capital projects remain the same with $4.5 million designated to sport fields at a new park, $600,000 in improvements to Cochran Park and $2 million toward sewer repair on Fairview Road.

District 5 representatives Steve Cash and Carlotta Harrell originally had $32 million allocated toward a comprehensive transportation plan to 4.55 miles along Fairview Road, but funds were reduced to $8.5 million to fall within budget.

They also have $1 million allocated to the widening of Rock Quarry Road, with the hope that the city of Stockbridge will contribute toward the project.

Cash and Harrell also chose to include two sidewalk projects for $1 million along Flippen Road and Walt Stevens Road.

The district has $7.1 million allocated toward capital projects and $14.2 designated to transportation.