County to talk SPLOSTS Monday
County commissioners will discuss how to spend remaining 2005 SPLOST road money and how to allocate future 2011 SPLOST money at a Monday work session at 6:30 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse.
Chairman Kathy Morgan said the county has about $5.4 million left in 2005 SPLOST road money the majority of which she hopes the board will approve putting toward installing a signal at the Ga. Highway 81 and Crowell Road intersection in Porterdale. The project is expected to cost more than $3 million.
Another project being considered is the paving of Gaithers
Road, which runs between Davis Ford Road and County Road 213 in southeastern Newton County. Morgan said she’s not sure the county will have enough 2005 SPLOST money to complete both the Gaithers and Crowell road projects.
A third, much smaller project is the realignment of Alcovy Trestle Road at its intersection with Ga. Highway 11. The intersection causes confusion because it is directly adjacent to the ongoing ramp at exit 98 of Interstate 20.
2011 SPLOST process
The board of commissioners will also discuss how to allocate 2011 SPLOST monies as they are collected.
Because no projects will be bonded, they theoretically cannot be completed until all or nearly all of their allocation is collected. If the projects are given money on a simple pro-rata basis, that would mean most projects wouldn’t be started for five to six years.
Morgan said this makes sense because the county does not have money to pay for any additional maintenance and operation this year, but hopes to be in better financial shape in five years.
However, officials backing projects such as the Miracle League field construction or judicial center expansion are going to push for those projects to be completed earlier if at all possible. This would require the board to set priorities for projects, Morgan said.
Morgan said she wants to form a committee for each project to keep track of the project’s process, such as preliminary design work and other preparations. She hopes the committees would be comprised of officials with knowledge of the project, two commissioners and Morgan and another administrative official.
“ I’m very concerned that we take a professional approach about how we count monies and report them to the board and citizens. I want to put together a program to help us track the dollars we collect and spend,” Morgan said.
If SPLOST monies are divided pro-rata, then the only projects that would be completed in the short term are vehicle replacements and roads, which obviously are broken down into several smaller items.