Decatur County and municipalities allocate SPLOST revenue

Published 3:21 pm Thursday, April 24, 2014

Decatur County has allocated more than $5 million of their SPLOST revenue to updating and maintaining public works such as equipment and roads throughout the county.

SPLOST allocations are taken from the tax’s six-year span, which is expected to generate $34,500,000.

Out of 46.11 percent, or $15,907,950, of total SPLOST revenue, Decatur County also has plans to spend more than $3.3 million on countywide projects including upgrading the jail, the Decatur County Prison, the Health Department and their own administration building.

More than $3.8 million will be allocated toward public safety departments, including EMS, sheriff vehicles and fire rescue, $800,100 toward the regional landfill, $355,600 toward vehicle fleet upgrades and $595,630 toward upgrading buildings at the industrial park, the WWII hangar roof and gas line expansion.

Decatur County is putting the remaining $1,955,800 toward recreation and debt service, including The Pines golf course clubhouse and the Silver Lake Project.

Between Decatur County’s four municipalities, Bainbridge is allocated 38.5 percent, Attapulgus 1.61 percent, Brinson .77 percent and Climax 1.01 percent of SPLOST revenue.

The City of Bainbridge has allocated to spend $13,282,500. The biggest project they have lined up is the water and sewer bond service ($6.5 million).

“The city council set as a goal eight years ago that we would get the existing footprint of Bainbridge access to sanitary sewer service,” Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby said. “We’ve been working toward that goal ever since and that work will continue.”

A general fund bond service ($3 million), road construction and improvements ($1.7 million), public safety equipment ($1,082,500) and recreation improvements ($1 million) are also projects Bainbridge is set to work on.

Hobby said plans to connect the river walk with downtown and installing new, clean playgrounds through town build an attractive community.

“Recreation improvements will continue to be a big part of what we do,” Hobby said. “It’s a priority for the city because of quality of life type issues. We think it makes us a more attractive community and what potential industry looks at in a community.”

Attapulgus is dividing $555,450 among projects that include real estate acquisition and the expansion of the community center, parks and recreations and the renovation and expansion of City Hall. Brinson is putting $265,650 toward street paving, electrical improvements and public safety equipment, among others. Climax has allocated $348,450 to be expended on projects including street drainage and water upgrades, public safety and computer equipment.

The last 12 percent of SPLOST VI revenue goes toward the Hospital Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County. The authority has allocated $4,140,00 to be spent on renovating, updating and upgrading their facilities ($1 million) and the purchase of equipment, furniture and fixtures for patients and resident rooms ($3,140,000).

SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) is an optional one percent sales tax used to fund capital projects like schools, parks and roads.

SPLOST VI will be on the ballot for the 2014 May primary voting. If approved by voters, collection will begin April 2015 and last through 2021.