A proposed SPLOST with projected collections of $30 million will appear on the May 20 ballot, with a strong focus on infrastructure and services.
Pickens County Commission Chair Rob Jones and Jasper Mayor John Weaver are scheduled to speak at the
March 11 County Chamber of Commerce Breakfast about this SPLOST. The breakfast will be held at Chattahoochee Technical College at 7 a.m.
According to information released by the county commissioners office, the overwhelming majority of collections are earmarked for the construction, repair and resurfacing of roads. There is also a significant portion tagged for strengthening fire services in areas of the county that are currently under served and suffer high ISO ratings.
County and city leaders have said major budget cuts from the state have left roads in disrepair. The city now receives approximately $40,000 a year for road projects, while the county receives approximately $400,000.
Under terms of agreement, portions of the SPLOST collections will go to the cities of Jasper and Nelson and the town of Talking Rock.
Jasper will receive 20 percent of collections; Nelson will receive 2.43 percent; Talking Rock is allocated .22 percent, with the remainder going to Pickens County projects.
According to Commission Chair Rob Jones, distribution of the funds will be very different from distribution of the 2008 SPLOST, which funded courthouse renovations and paid off debt on the administration building and jail.
Jones said under this SPLOST there are no Tier 1 projects, which by state law must be funded before other SPLOST projects.
“What is going to happen is that each month that sales tax money comes in, each entity will get their percent of that money,” Jones said. “So each month Jasper will get 20 percent, and so on.”
Under the 2008 SPLOST, the cities of Nelson, Talking Rock and Jasper did not receive any funding until the very end of the collection period, and the library renovation project received no funding due to significant shortfall in expected collections.
Jones pointed out that this one-cent tax, if passed by voters, will be a continuance of the 2008 SPLOST that is expiring this year.
“This is not going to be an additional cent on top of that one,” Jones said. “Taxpayers will be paying the same amount at the register.”
According to information released by the county, proposed SPLOST projects include:
•Roads, streets and bridges – Pickens County - $14,418,000
This will include the resurfacing and repairing of roads, streets and bridges in need of attention.
•Roads, streets and bridges – City of Jasper - $6,000,000
At a recent city-county meeting, Jasper Mayor John Weaver said the city aims to repave over 90 percent of roads inside the city limits, including roads in subdivisions. Plans include roundabouts and improvements to some city sidewalks.
•Public Safety & Equipment – Pickens County - $5,987,000
Pickens Fire and Rescue projects include three new fire stations, renovation of three existing stations five new fire trucks and replacement of equipment ($4,136,800); Pickens County Sheriff’s Office plans to replace vehicles and equipment ($1.2 million); Pickens EMS projects include remounts on three emergency vehicles ($500,000); and Pickens County E-911 plans to upgrade 911 systems to eliminate “dead zones.”
•Pickens Public Library - $2,000,000
Expansion of public library at existing facility to include a technology wing.
•Pickens County Water & Sewer - $800,000
Replacement of antiquated water lines in Jerusalem and Tate communities.
•City of Nelson - $729,000
To include improvements to street system and sidewalks, as well as the purchase of a generator for city hall.
•Talking Rock - $66,000
Parks and recreational facility improvements.