TSPLOST delayed following Hurricane Michael

Published 4:35 pm Friday, November 23, 2018

Hurricane Michael has put a delay on TSPLOST (Transportation Special Local Options Sales Tax) projects in Bainbridge, said City Manager Chris Hobby.

Passed by Decatur County voters last November, TSPLOST is a special 1 cent sales tax that went into effect April 1. Shoppers in the county have been paying an 8 percent sales tax on almost all purchases, with the exception of gasoline, with the extra penny per dollar allocated to road projects. The money can only be spent within Decatur County.

Work was to begin in October in the Loblolly Road region, but the start dates are now pushed back to March or April, said Hobby.

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“Obviously (Hurricane Michael) has put us way behind,” said Hobby. “As long as the debris remains, we can’t get in and do the paving we want to do. We need to ride that out and get the debris substantially removed before we get on our paving program.”

The U.S. Corps of Engineers is removing debris from roadsides throughout Decatur County, and although major progress has been made just in the two weeks the Corps has been working, Hobby expects cleanup to last until February.

Bainbridge has its first year of resurfacing projects mapped out, but a late start will push the process back. The delay won’t change the order that projects are tackled, said Hobby. It also did not add any new repaving projects to the list.

Next week, Hobby and Decatur County Administrator Alan Thomas will visit with the Georgia Department of Transportation in Atlanta to work on the state trucking route. Currently, the route runs right through downtown Bainbridge. A major selling point on passing the TSPLOST referendum was to relocated the trucking route to Whigham Dairy Road.

Hobby said he expects that project to begin in 2020.