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Posted: December 3, 2010 6:08 p.m.

Cities make final SPLOST requests

BOC has Tuesday work session at 6 p.m.

Newton County's five cities made their final SPLOST requests Friday afternoon with little fanfare, though Mansfield, Oxford and Porterdale asked for additional monies above their pro-rate share.

The cities submitted $21.5 million in reduced SPLOST requests in November, but under County Commissioner Mort Ewing's proposal the cities would receive only a combined $10.1 million. Friday, the cities asked for a combined $10.95 million.

Covington originally requested $16.53 million, including $8 million to replace water lines, but that money was cut. Mayor Kim Carter said the city would accept its $7.46 million allocation, including $6.96 million for road improvements and $500,000 for airport improvements. She said the city's pro rata share should be $10.72 million, but it was willing to share some of that unused portion with other cities and the county.

Oxford increased its request by $200,000 to $1.28 million, but continued to ask for money to replace some of its 80-year-old water mains and make other water system improvements. Ewing's proposal awarded Oxford $1.23 million.

Porterdale was allocated $830,000 for transportation and recreation projects and the Porterdale gym. Mayor Bobby Hamby requested an additional $248,000, most of which would be used for the gym. He said the city council will solidify its list at its Monday meeting.
Newborn was allocated $336,840, despite the fact it only asked for $142,500 originally.

However, the city increased its project list, asking for $115,000 for sidewalks, $119,000 for building improvements, $100,000 for parks and recreation and $3,000 for safety signs.

Mansfield asked for $1.45 million originally, but only received $252,630 for transportation needs. Mayor Bill Cocchi asked for an additional $100,000 for much needed vehicle replacements.
In order to collect SPLOST money for six years, instead of the traditional five, the county and its cities must sign an intergovernmental agreement approving a SPLOST proposal. All mayors said they would ask their councils to authorize the mayors and city attorney to meet with the chairman and county attorney to sign an intergovernmental agreement.

The mayors, chairman and attorney will negotiate the terms of the intergovernmental agreement. Once that is approved, the Board of Commissioners will vote on a final SPLOST list, most likely at its Dec. 21 meeting.

The board is expected to have two final SPLOST work sessions before Dec. 21, including a work session at 6 p.m., Tuesday at the Historic Courthouse. Chairman Kathy Morgan said she will present some further information about the county's debt service needs. In addition, she said some commissioners have expressed a desire to get more details about some of the SPLOST projects. The News will provide its own breakdown of SPLOST projects in this Sunday's edition.


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