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2017 SPLOST list approved
Projects include Emergency-911 center, animal control shelter, senior services, transportation
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More than $18 million for transportation, just under $4 million for the Emergency-911 Center, just under $2 million for expansion of the Senior Service Center and a little more than $1 million for an animal control shelter were among the items approved on the proposed 2017 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) list by the Newton County Board of Commissioners (BOC) Tuesday.

The list was put together by the 24-person citizen’s SPLOST committee chosen by the district commissioners and county chair. The committee, chaired by Baxter Bouchillon, was given an initial list that included all the proposed project requests with expenses totaling $91,687,228. The committee strategically worked to narrow that down to a project list with expenses totaling $51,010,560.

Among the biggest expenditures completely cut from the list were an aquatic center ($8 million), R.L. Cousins renovations ($2,500,000), additions to Nelson Heights Community Center ($1,550,000) and a sheriff department annex ($500,000).

The county estimated it will receive $900,000 a month for a period of 72 months for a total SPLOST return of $64,800,000. After negotiations with mayors from each of Newton County’s five municipalities, it was determined Newton County would receive 78.72 percent of that number for a total of $51,010,560.

The list, which was approved 4-1 by the BOC, is:

Transportation — $18.5 million

Debt Service/Retirement — $10.5 million

E911 communications co-occupied — $3.7 million anticipate that some of the cities would contribute

Westside Youth Outreach Facility — $500,000

Senior Expansion — $1.8 million

Recreation Department Facilities — $1 million

District 2 capital improvements — $500,000

Spring Hill park — $500,000

Porterdale park upgrades ¬—$150,000

District 4 park upgrades ¬— $500,000

Chimney park upgrade — $100,000

Yellow River trail — $1,350,000

Library —$500,000

Animal Control —$1,210,560

Washington Street Community Center land and/or facility upgrades — $500,000

Sheriff’s Office upgrades — $3 million

Solid waste — $1.4 million

Fleet replacement and equipment— $3.5 million

Fire Services ¬— $800,000

Economic Development — $1 million

Out of the county’s allotted total of $51,010,560, $8,310,560 will go toward facilities, $4.1 million toward parks and recreation, $4.9 million to fleet replacement and equipment, $18.5 million to transportation, $10.5 million to debt service/retirement, $3.7 million to Emergency-911 communications and $1 million to Economic Development/Industrial development authority.

The BOC will vote to put the 2017 SPLOST on the ballot for March 14 at its Dec. 6 meeting.