McDONOUGH — The Henry County Board of Commissioners approved the county’s list of SPLOST projects at its meeting Tuesday evening.

The list consists of projects that will be built or designed with funds collected from the six-year SPLOST program, should voters pass the SPLOST referendum in November.

Each of the five districts will have a budget of $26,510,800, while the county will have $51,196,000 for its own countywide projects.

Most of the SPLOST V project list appeared to match recommendations made earlier this year by the county’s SPLOST V Committee, which met for several months, listening to recommendations from the public and formulating what they felt would be a good project list.

Countywide projects: Centered around public safetyThe county has listed seven projects for its countywide project list, headlined by a $10 million pod addition to the Henry County Jail, and a $17,696,000 fleet replacement program, the largest project in all of SPLOST V.

The jail pod addition would increase capacity at the Henry County Jail, while the fleet replacement program would replace county vehicles, both public safety and otherwise.

Several police stations and precincts, as well as two fire stations, are also included on the countywide list.

A rebuild for the Fairview Police Precinct and Fire Station No. 6 has a $6 million budget attached to it.

Two projects with combined police precincts and fire stations have a $4.5 million price tag. These include the Ola Precinct and Station No. 17 and a precinct in District 4, which would be combined with Fire Station No. 18.

A police station in District 2 has a $1.5 million price tag, while a rebuild of Fire Station No. 5, which is currently located in the Hampton city limits, has a $3 million budget.

District 1: Entirely transportation projectsDistrict 1’s project list consists entirely of transportation projects.

Three projects listed have a price tag exceeding $4 million — the paving of the dirt Peeksville Road from the bridge to Old Jackson Road, at a cost of $4,087,676; the paving of the dirt Burg Road from the county line to Peeksville, at a cost of $4,054,000; and right of way acquisition and construction of phase one of the widening of Ga. Highway 81, from Postmaster Road to Bethany Road, totaling $4,013,777.

Three other major transportation projects are listed: Design of phase two of the widening of Ga. Highway 81 from Bethany Road to Keys Ferry Road, at $200,000; construction of McDonough Parkway, at $3,908,969, and the South Ola Road extension, at $3,183,528.

The designs of four intersections and signalizations are also included, all priced at $250,000: Lester Mill Road at Bill Gardner Parkway, Peeksville Road at LeGuin Mill Road, Peeksville Road at Old Jackson Road, and McDonough Parkway at Henry Parkway. A fifth, valued at $625,000, is for Racetrack Road at Iris Lake, shared with District 3, and with the city of McDonough, which will contribute $1 million to the project.

Other dirt road projects include the design of Cardell Drive from LeGuin Mill Road to South Ola, worth $250,000; the design of Ellistown Road from Peeksville to Moccasin Gap, at $175,000 and the design of Sandy Ridge Road from Keys Ferry to Stallsworth, at $110,000.

Funding has also been included for sidewalks, at a cost of $250,000, and a total of $4,652,850 has been included for resurfacing and surface treatment.

District 2: No projects initially listed; Clemmons cites “flexibility”

Unlike the other districts and the county-wide list, no specific projects had been listed on the District 2 project list, which raised controversy among commissioners at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Instead, the only projects listed were “Districtwide funding (District II specific)” and dollar amounts were listed for each.

Projects were listed as follows:

♦ Capital projects — $10,291,315;

♦ Major Transportation projects — $4,676,206;

♦ Intersections — $2,065,000;

♦ Dirt roads — $5,867,500;

♦ Sidewalks — $250,000; and

♦ Resurfacing, surface treatment and widening — $3,360,779.

Clemmons defended the vagueness of the project list after it was questioned by District 1 Commissioner Johnny Wilson by stating that with the SPLOST being a six-year project, potential needs could pop up during those years, and without those funds tied to any specific project, they could be used on those new needs.

Previously, a handful of items had been included on a list recommended by the SPLOST Committee, including an extension of Flippen Road at a cost of $4,676,206.71.

After the meeting, the capital projects were compiled in a PowerPoint presentation available on Henry County’s website.

The execution of the master plan at Nash Farm Battlefield has $4,291,315 budgeted to it, and a proposed recreation center has a $6 million price tag. The Flippen Road project was not specifically named in the approved project list, but the “Major Transportation Projects” divider has the same budget as the proposed Flippen extension.

Three intersections had been included in the committee’s recommendations, including Mt. Carmel Road at South Mt. Carmel Road for $2,120,191.39, Greenwood Industrial at Ga. Highway 155 at $2,065,000 and Mitchell Road at Jonesboro Road at $2,171,123.68. Much of that funding appears to have been removed before the vote.

Two dirt road projects had been included by the committee, including Dutchtown Road at $5,867,500 and North Steele Drive at $1,224,286.

A bridge improvement, of Hampton/Locust Grove Road at the Towaliga River, had also been included by the committee, at $1,224,286.

With the changes made, District 2 has the largest budget of all the districts for capital projects, but none of those capital projects was explicitly stated on the project list.

District 3: Library funding a late addition

In District 3, a district dominated by the county seat of McDonough, transportation projects rule the day, but a late addition was included, concerning around $100,000 in funding for a new library.

The addition was added by Commissioner Gary Barham, citing a representative from the Henry County Library System’s presence at the final SPLOST V Committee meeting, asking for the funds.

The $100,000 would go to applying for a grant that the federal government would match on a 90/10 split.

More than $13 million will go to major transportation projects, with the biggest budget going to the construction of McDonough Parkway from Ga. Highway 42 to Ga. Highway 155. That project has an $8 million price tag.

Phase one of the widening of Ga. Highway 81 will have a $4,013,777 contribution from District 3 funds, while phase two’s design phase has a $200,000 contribution attached.

Other major transportation projects cited in the District 3 list include improvements to East Lake Road, from Ga. Highway 155 to Airline Road, worth $200,000 and shared with District 4; the design of the Airline Road extension, which will extend the road to Ga. Highway 81, worth $300,000; and the design of Snapping Shoals Road from North Ola Road to River Road, worth $825,000.

A total of nine intersection and signalization projects are included on District 3’s list, with the big-ticket intersection items consisting of Bridges Road at Willow Lane and Ga. Highway 20 at Turner Church Road, both worth $2,065,000 each.

One-third of the intersection projects consist of intersections at East Lake Road, and all three are shared with District 4. East Lake at Airline Road is worth $1,279,835, and East Lake at Elliott and the design of East Lake at Rowan are worth $125,000 each.

Racetrack Road at Iris Lake Road is shared with District 1, and District 3 will contribute $625,000 to the project.

Three additional intersection design projects are included, and all three have a $250,000 price tag: North Ola Road at Snapping Shoals Road, Upchurch Road at Ga. Highway 81, and Airline Road at McGarity Road.

Sidewalks have a $280,335 budget, and resurfacing, surface treatment and widening has a $3,031,229 budget in District 3.

District 4: A handful of projects, but Rock Quarry Road widening dominatesAt $11,750,000, the widening of Rock Quarry Road is the highest-priced item on District 4’s project list, the smallest project list among districts that actually put specific projects on their SPLOST project list.

Only one other project is listed as a major transportation project, the design for widening of East Lake Road from Ga. Highway 155 to Ga. Highway 20. That project, which is shared with District 3, will have a $200,000 contribution from District 4.

A new park and upgrades to parks in District 4 have a listed budget of $8,733,124.

Three intersection projects are included on the District 4 list. All three of them are shared with District 3, and all three of them are on East Lake Road.

District 4 will contribute $1,279,835 for East Lake’s intersection with Airline Road and $125,000 for the intersections with Elliott Road and with Rowan Drive.

In addition, a total of $4,297,841 has been earmarked for resurfacing, surface treatment and widening.

District 5: Three park upgrades proposed, Fairview Road widening a big-ticket itemThe widening of Fairview Road from the Home Depot to Patillo Road, at $14,500,000, is the largest transportation item, not just in District 5, but among all the districts. If the countywide projects are included, the project would be the second-largest project in the entire SPLOST V referendum.

Two other major transportation projects have been included in the district’s project list: The construction of West Village Parkway, which has a $7,150,000 budget, and a project pertaining to Clark Drive, which has a $500,000 budget.

Three park improvements have also been included in District 5’s project list. Park upgrades to Hidden Valley Park, Cochran Park and Village Park have all been included, and each of the three projects has a $500,000 budget.

District 5 is also unique in that it also has a pathway improvement budgeted. Improvements to the Fairview Path to the Panola Mountain Trail have a price tag of $210,800 and have been included in the District 5 project list.

Government Reporter

A native of Hampton, Georgia, Joe Adgie has worked for the Valdosta Daily Times, Clayton News, Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen. Adgie joined the Henry Herald in April 2018.

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