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Posted: November 12, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Cities finalize SPLOST requests

The county and its five municipalities have been trimming millions from their SPLOST lists, but more than $100 million in county requests and $21.5 million from the municipalities remain.

The deadline to approve a resolution calling for a 2011 SPLOST list is Jan. 4. Commissioners must pare down the proposed list of projects to around $55 million in projected SPLOST funding.

The mayors presented their revised requests to the Board of Commissioners at a work session on Wednesday.

Water lines
One of the most common requests was to replace aging water lines. All of Oxford's $1.26 million in requests were water system related, including more than $1 million to make water main replacements on Emory and Asbury streets. Oxford Mayor Jerry Roseberry said Oxford has spent millions to replace its aging water infrastructure, but could use SPLOST to replace the two main lines.

Covington Mayor Kim Carter said the city needs to replace all of its 45-year-old asbestos cement water pipes, but that would cost $17 million. However, the city has proposed replacing half of its infrastructure with this SPLOST, 12.12 miles, at a cost of $8 million.

Mansfield Mayor Bill Cocchi requested $950,000 to make improvements of 12,804 linear feet of its water lines.

Street repairs
Every city asked for money for street resurfacing and paving. Covington asked for $3.1 million to widen Industrial Boulevard north of U.S. Highway 278. County Chairman Kathy Morgan said she believed the entire road should be resurfaced and suggested adding the section south of U.S. 278 to the SPLOST, which would be an additional $3 million or more.
Porterdale Mayor Bobby Hamby asked for $377,240 to repair the intersection of Ivy and Hemlock streets.

Covington requested $200,000 for nine sidewalk projects and Mansfield requested $257,000 for five sidewalk projects.

Other projects
Porterdale requested $1.2 million to stabilize the historic gymnasium and place a new roof on top of it. Hamby said the city hopes to eventually make the gymnasium into a recreation facility and community center.

Covington requested $500,000 for a new airport terminal on the southern end of the airport, as it plans to create an airport entrance off Ga. Highway 142, as well as $250,000 for airport equipment.

If the county and cities can agree on projects, they can sign an intergovernmental agreement, which allows the county to collect the additional 1 percent sales tax for six years instead of the usual five. The additional year would allow the county to add $10 million in additional projects. If an intergovernmental agreement is approved, the SPLOST collection would end June 30, 2017.

The county is having its next SPLOST work session from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Historic Courthouse.



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