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SPLOST to benefit Pike County most

Pike County will take the largest share when the proceeds of the proposed SPLOST are divided. The Pike County Board of Commissioners is filling in details of the referendum that will eventually go before voters on the November ballot. At a workshop session Tuesday, June 2, commissioners decided how the SPLOST money will be divided among the county and municipalities, and commissioners selected the projects that the county’s share of the SPLOST proceeds will fund. The commissioners are expected to take official action on those matters at the meeting set for Wednesday, June 10. Officials are proposing a renewed, six-year SPLOST that could generate an estimated $6 million. Eighty percent of that money will go to Pike County, the commissioners decided, and 20 percent will be divvied up among the municipalities. Of the estimated $6 million that the proposed SPLOST could generate, the county would thus reap $4.8 million and the cities would get $1.2 million. The county plans to use its share of the SPLOST funds for the following projects: a judicial complex and courthouse improvements, street grading and restrooms for the agribusiness authority, grading and drains at the soccer complex for the parks and recreation authority, fencing and a safety net at the ball complex for the parks and recreation authority, an irrigation system at the ball fields for the parks and recreation authority, and parking lot resurfacing, fans, blinds and ADA compliance improvements for the library authority. Georgia counties may levy a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for building and maintaining roads, parks and other public facilities. It is passed by commissioners and then approved or rejected by voters in a referendum. Pike’s existing SPLOST expires in 2010. Some $18 million in proposed projects have been presented to the Citizens Advisory Task Force for Pike’s proposed, renewed SPLOST. The task force must sort through those projects and recommend a chosen few to the county commissioners for their approval and eventual placement on the ballot. Then Pike’s voters will decide in the November referendum whether or not the proposed SPLOST becomes a reality. ”We’ve got to do a good job of education, of public relations,” Commissioner Don Collins told other board members during the workshop.

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