Cities fi­nal­ize SPLOST re­quests

The Covington News - - Front page - By Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­

The county and its five mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have been trim­ming mil­lions from their SPLOST lists, but more than $100 mil­lion in county re­quests and $21.5 mil­lion from the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties re­main.

The dead­line to ap­prove a res­o­lu­tion call­ing for a 2011 SPLOST list is Jan. 4. Com­mis­sion­ers must pare down the pro­posed list of projects to around $55 mil­lion in pro­jected SPLOST fund­ing.

The may­ors pre­sented their re­vised re­quests to the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers at a work ses­sion on Wed­nes­day.

Wa­ter lines

One of the most com­mon re­quests was to re­place ag­ing wa­ter lines. All of Ox­ford’s $1.26 mil­lion in re­quests were wa­ter sys­tem re­lated, in­clud­ing more than $1 mil­lion to make wa­ter main re­place­ments on Emory and As­bury streets. Ox­ford Mayor Jerry Rose­berry said Ox­ford has spent mil­lions to re­place its ag­ing wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture, but could use SPLOST to re­place the two main lines.

Cov­ing­ton Mayor Kim Carter said the city needs to

re­place all of its 45-yearold as­bestos ce­ment wa­ter pipes, but that would cost $17 mil­lion. How­ever, the city has pro­posed re­plac­ing half of its in­fra­struc­ture with this SPLOST, 12.12 miles, at a cost of $8 mil­lion.

Mans­field Mayor Bill Coc­chi re­quested $950,000 to make im­prove­ments of 12,804 lin­ear feet of its wa­ter lines.

Street re­pairs

Ev­ery city asked for money for street resur­fac­ing and paving. Cov­ing­ton asked for $3.1 mil­lion to widen In­dus­trial Boule­vard north of U.S. High­way 278. County Chair­man Kathy Mor­gan said she be­lieved the en­tire road should be resur­faced and sug­gested adding the sec­tion south of U.S. 278 to the SPLOST, which would be an ad­di­tional $3 mil­lion or more.

Por­terdale Mayor Bobby Hamby asked for $377,240 to re­pair the in­ter­sec­tion of Ivy and Hem­lock streets.

Cov­ing­ton re­quested $200,000 for nine side­walk projects and Mans­field re­quested $257,000 for five side­walk projects.

Other projects

Por­terdale re­quested $1.2 mil­lion to sta­bi­lize the his­toric gym­na­sium and place a new roof on top of it. Hamby said the city hopes to even­tu­ally make the gym­na­sium into a recre­ation fa­cil­ity and com­mu­nity cen­ter.

Cov­ing­ton re­quested $500,000 for a new air­port ter­mi­nal on the south­ern end of the air­port, as it plans to cre­ate an air­port en­trance off Ga. High­way 142, as well as $250,000 for air­port equip­ment.

If the county and cities can agree on projects, they can sign an in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal agree­ment, which al­lows the county to col­lect the ad­di­tional 1 per­cent sales tax for six years in­stead of the usual five. The ad­di­tional year would al­low the county to add $10 mil­lion in ad­di­tional projects. If an in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal agree­ment is ap­proved, the SPLOST col­lec­tion would end June 30, 2017.

The county is hav­ing its next SPLOST work ses­sion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Satur­day at the His­toric Courthouse.

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