Commissioner Puts SPLOST Extension on the Ballot, Sets Millage
Clarence Brown held Tuesday a special called meeting to also consider other items.
Local voters will have several important measures to consider come November. Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown just added to the list.
Brown today at a special called meeting approved a referendum for the November ballot to extend the 1-cent, special-purpose sales tax.
“The cities have asked me to do this,” Brown said, adding “there’s a number of projects.”
He said the current SPLOST continues through 2013, and the extension would begin in 2014, if approved by voters, and would keep the property taxes down.
Among the projects Brown said are important is a landfill expansion. Officials say the current landfill capacity will run out in 2017, so they need to start building the next phase. They expect 30 to 35 years of additional capacity after the proposed construction.
An 800 megahertz radio system for the county and its cities would enhance and improve communications within and between emergency response agencies, Brown said. The project includes upgrading police, sheriff, fire, EMS and other emergency response vehicles with new radios. The county currently has a 200 megahertz system.
The commissioner also pointed to the county’s budget restraints, which has prevented the replacement vehicles in addition to employee furloughs and other cost-saving measures. He said a continuation of the SPLOST is needed “to keep up.”
Addressing why a 2014 SPLOST extension will be on the 2011 ballot, officials said if they had waited, the county could have experienced a lapse in SPLOST collections due to requirements and the specifics of 2013 elections.
“We really had not choice in terms of picking dates other than to get this done this November,” said Attorney Boyd Pettit.
In a related move, the second Joint Development Authority formed recently by the county and its cities approved this morning the intergovernmental agreement that will allow Cartersville and Bartow to pay off debt related to the acquisition and utilities of Highland 75, a vacant business park on Cass-White Road.
Economic development officials have had trouble selling lots in the development in a down economy.
Pettit said the JDA will acquire the assets of park and use SPLOST funds to retire debt, if the extension is approved by voters. Officials say the move is a way to reduce the debt associated with Highland 75 without regard to sales of property and will improve economic development opportunities.
“I think what makes our community great is we work together,” Brown added.
The commissioner also set the combined millage rate combined as follows:
- 9.05 mills in incorporated areas,
- 7.73 mills in unincorporated areas, and
- 17.90 mills for the schools.
Also at the meeting, Brown declared some government property surplus and authorized its sale through GovDeals Internet Auction Service and approved an agreement with the cities of Adairsville and Emerson to conduct their elections. The county’s Board of Elections will conduct the cities’ elections, but the municipalities cover the costs.
See the full project list for the proposed SPLOST extension attached to this article.