Valdosta projects await T-SPLOST money

Valdosta projects await T-SPLOST money
Officials were working on a new apron two years ago (Source: WALB)
Valdosta Mayor John Gayle (Source: WALB)
Valdosta Mayor John Gayle (Source: WALB)

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Several Valdosta transportation projects will be on the "to do list," starting in October, after a majority vote last week approved T-SPLOST funding.

Last week, voters approved the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, better known as T-SPLOST.

Mayor John Gayle says the city and county are expecting to bring in $165 million over the course of ten years, to go toward some much-needed transportation projects.

Lowndes County and Valdosta beginning October the first, will have a one-cent increase in sales tax, will go from seven to eight cents on the dollar," Gayle said.

T-SPLOST can only be used for transportation projects over ten years.

"Lowndes County submitted our projects, of which we received the vast majority of those, people realized that we were the largest county, and that we needed more of the projects that we requested," he said.

The first project will take place a the Valdosta Regional Airport.

"The projects had to have some sort of regional significance. For instance, the first project that will be done here is the tower at the airport."

The tower is extremely outdated, and interferes with planes as they are taxiing.

"That tower was built in 1948. It's way out of date, its too close to the runway, planes are too big now. They have to zig-zag around sometimes, so that's the first project that will be done."

Other projects will include intersection improvements. St. Augustine Road and Norman Drive, St. Augustine Road and Gornto, and Baytree and Gornto are just a few of the problematic roads that will under the T-SPLOST funded projects.

If enough money is raised for all projects, the sales tax could end early.

"If we receive more funding at a faster pace than we anticipate, the tax will end, so it could end in eight or nine years if the economy continues to boom like it is right now."

Mayor Gayle says that two parties from 18 counties met every two weeks to decide the best projects to improve a variety of neighborhoods throughout the region, and that this will help not only Lowndes County, but many surrounding counties as well.

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