Dougherty Co. commissioners: Sales tax funding should go toward new morgue, safety projects

The fund collection for SPLOST 8 will begin in April. Residents will have to pay a penny sales tax.
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:34 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The fund collection for Albany’s sales taxes will begin in April. Residents will now have to pay a penny sales tax.

Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST 8, funding will go towards various projects.

“We have a variety of projects, and we’ve scheduled them over that six-year period. And we will make the spending plan available once the board takes action on it next week at the regular session,” Michael McCoy, the county administrator and chief administrative officer, said.

Michael McCoy is the county administrator.
Michael McCoy is the county administrator.(WALB)

The anticipated collection amount is set to be around $49 million.

Dougherty County could also potentially be seeing a new and improved morgue.

“It was placed on SPLOSTS 7 as the coroner’s office needed to have its own morgue facility,” McCoy said. “The referendum was approved by the voters. And this is just the executive of a project that was on SPLOSTS 7.”

The current morgue is at Phoebe North, however, if approved, the new one would house the coroner and his operations.

“The budget that was presented today was about $1.3 million. About $400,000 was allocated in SPLOSTS 7,” McCoy said. “And we have a budget that we would be able to cover with SPLOSTS 7, and we’ll discuss that next week and the board will take action.”

Board members say they’re grateful for this funding. And that a few Dougherty County neighborhoods could potentially be getting some new speed bumps as a result of the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOT).

“The thing about SPLOSTS, it allows us to do some things that we maybe wouldn’t be able to do,” Dougherty County Chairman Lorenzo Heard said. “And so we’re happy to be able to help the community with speed tables. And it will hopefully slow the speeders down.”

Chairman Lorenzo Heard.
Chairman Lorenzo Heard.(WALB)

Dougherty County EMS could also be seeing additional funding soon as a result of a National Opioid Settlement class action lawsuit.

“The funds will allow us to help the EMTs as well as to help people who struggle with this particular, especially with the Narcan,” Heard said. “And so, I think that it’s a wonderful opportunity to hopefully help people live. There is money coming to help that community. And hopefully, some people will live through it and ultimately overcome this addiction. And be a great contributing citizen to Dougherty County as well as to their families.”

These initiatives will be voted on Monday, March 20th, at the regularly scheduled county commission meeting.