SPLOST project list slimming up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SPLOST project list slimming up

August 23, 2004

Albany - A lot of needed projects are getting cut as Albany and Dougherty County leaders continue to whittle the sales tax wish list. Commissioners must agree on about $108-million in projects to add to the SPLOST referendum in November.

A plan to conserve Radium Springs is still on a shrinking list of proposed sales tax projects. The plans includes spending more than $5,000,000 to add walking trails, outdoor classrooms, and botanical gardens at Radium Springs. Now, city and county leaders must decide how much, if any, of that cost will be paid for with sales tax.

"We have identified a few funding sources," said Ronald Huffman, with HDR Engineering. "There are recreational trail programs and land and water conservation fund grants programs. But by and large, we're here today hoping that sales tax will help support some of the improvements needed out there."

City and county commissioners continue to trim the fat list of proposed projects with projects like street repaving and renovations to county buildings taking precedence over additions to the Riverquarium and Civil Right's Museum. So far, the city and county aren't always agreeing on which projects are most needed.

"I have proposed rather than the city and county trying to convince each other which projects should take priority is that the city should take an allocation, dedicate projects to that figure and the county likewise take an allocation and dedicate project to that figure which would leave a specific number to be used to community projects," said Commissioner Bo Dorough.

Dorough says the city should get $60,000,000, the county should get $30,000,000, and then divide up the remain $18,000,000 among private projects. That move would turn dozens of projects into nothing more than blueprints.

Commissioners will release the final list of SPLOST projects the first week on September. Then, voters will decide rather to continue the $0.01 sales tax come November.

Posted at 4:36PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com