Future sales tax projects adding up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Future sales tax projects adding up

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August 9, 2004

Albany - The list of needed improvements to Dougherty County buildings continues to grow. Monday, county leaders discussed $42-million in projects they hope to pay for with sales tax revenue.

Albany and Dougherty County commissioners are considering asking voters to continue the SPLOST or special purpose local option sales tax. The $0.01 sales tax brings in millions of dollars which go to pay for city and county projects.

A cramped office doubles as a bedroom at the EMS headquarters on North Jefferson. "We're just out of room here," said EMS Director Bobby Tripp.

The living quarters are tight. "We just need more space and more privacy." And, the storage space is tighter. "We had to take our classroom and make two office areas out of it. Now, we also use it for a storage area for supplies because we just don't have any place to put them."

EMS Director Bobby Tripp is asking county commissioners to use future sales tax money to build a new $3-million EMS headquarters. Tripp and other department heads gave county commissioners a list of projects that could be paid for with sales tax money if citizens vote to continue the SPLOST in November.

Library Director Mike Dugan wants a share of the SPLOST pie too. He's asking for $6-million to make improvements to 4 branch libraries and to build a new Northwest library that would replace the current facility built nearly 40 years ago.

"I think a library is just as important to the quality of life in a community as police, fire, and EMS," said Dugan. "You can't expect an educated population if they don't have anywhere to go to become educated."

Other projects on the proposed County SPLOST list include $7.6-million in improvements to the Government Center, Judicial building, Mental and Public Health facilities, jail, and county police office. Another $18-million in road projects and new technologies for county offices brings the list wish up to $42-million dollars.

Now, county leaders will prioritize the projects and leave it up to voters to continue SPLOST or close the book on this sales tax. City department heads and private entities are also asking for SPLOST money.

Posted at 4:55PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com