SPLOST V 10 years later: What did Albany, Dougherty Co. get for the money?

SPLOST V 10 years later: What did Albany, Dougherty Co. get for the money?
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - 10 years ago one penny of every dollar spent in Dougherty County went into SPLOST V collections.

More than $103 million was collected in the 6 years total for SPLOST V.

So, 10 years later, was that money wisely spent?

You might be surprised to learn that almost $9.5 million of that money for Dougherty County has still not been spent.

And some of the projects paid for with that tax money actually helped in this year's storm relief.

In 2004, Dougherty County voters overwhelmingly approved the SPLOST V tax, with the county listing 26 capital improvement projects, and the city listing 29 projects.

"Thank goodness for SPLOST," said Dougherty County Administrator Richard Crowdis.

Surprisingly, in 2017, the county still has nearly $9.5 million of that funding still unspent, and the city has almost $8.5 million to pay for projects still to be completed.

One of the largest pending projects for the city is the Holloway Drainage, $10 million allocated to help rebuild streets, storm drainage and ponds to prevent flooding south of West Oglethorpe Boulevard.

"We realized we could not do the project with the money that we have allocated. It really would not serve the needs to solve the flooding," said the city of Albany Director of  Engineering Bruce Maples.

Now the city is applying for additional state grants to pay for what is now a projected $25 million project.

That original $10 million by state law has to be spent on that project.

One of the county's largest unfunded projects, more than $1.7 million dollars, is for a tennis center.

City and county leaders said the SPLOST V money really helped in relief after the twin January Storms.

County commissioners reallocated funds for Radium Springs and road improvements, to repair storm damaged roads.

"We did that recently in order to put  $2 million into the county road improvements for the Radium Springs area to rebuild those roads that had been devastated by the tornado," said Dougherty County Manager Richard Crowdis.

SPLOST V had $709,000 allocated to relocate the Albany Museum of Art downtown, that was mostly unspent.

After the Museum was damaged by the tornado, that money will likely help put the Museum back in order.

City leaders said the Geographic Information System funded through SPLOST V helped storm relief in devastated areas.

"Pulling up and keeping up with the building permit issues," said Maples. "Which we had. trying to map where houses were, pulling building permits. How many structures were actually impacted."

Another large project, still not started but coming, the Nottingham Way widening, with a $500,000 allocated.

Both county and city leaders give SPLOST V an 'A' score for the community.

"Yes and it's going to continue to give. It's the gift that keeps on giving," said Crowdis. "Until the last penny is out."

Below, you can see the entire list of city and county projects for SPLOST V, and the balance sheet.

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