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BOC approves SPOLST agreement with Porterdale, increased prepaid 9-1-1 fee

PORTERDALE, Ga. - The Newton County Board of Commissioners approved an Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax spending agreement with the City of Porterdale at its Oct. 16 meeting.

Under the agreement, the city will receive $148,627 for capital improvements to the Porterdale Yellow River Park and B.C. Crowell Park.

The improvements will include removing asphalt and gravel, planting grass and native shrubs, installing pervious pavers for parking space, installing a fountain, installing a sprinkler system fed by river water and a handicapped-accessible paved sidewalk at the Yellow River Park and new playground equipment, landscaping and cosmetic and structural improvements to B.C. Crowell Park.

Mayor Arline Chapman told commissioners the city always planned to upgrade B.C. Crowell Park.

“We had always planned to fix B.C. Crowell Park as part of our planning,” she said. “And as you well know, this last SPLOST distribution has put us in a position where we can really do a lot. And a lot of that has been focused on the parks.

“The B.C. Crowell Park is the oldest park and it needs to be fixed up and it will be fixed up.”

Commissioners also approved a resolution increasing monthly 9-1-1 charges on prepaid cellphones.

County attorney Megan Martin told commissioners the laws concerning 9-1-1 charges in the state had changed.

“The law on 9-1-1 charges changed this past legislative session,” she said. “Notably, the legislature created a new entity for the state known as the Georgia Emergency Communications Authority.

“The law doesn’t go into effect until Jan. 1 and local governments must certify that they have an updated resolution on imposing 9-1-1 charges on various types of telecommunication services no later than Nov. 1.”

Martin said under the prior law, local governments could impose 75 cents for a prepaid wireless 9-1-1 charge. She said effective Jan. 1, 2019, that charge doubles to $1.50.

Local 9-1-1 charges for telephone service and non-prepaid wireless enhanced service were already $1.50. Those charges did not increase.