2015-09-24 / Front Page

County announces SPLOST projects; total millage rate drops 2.26 percent

Projects that will appear on the ballot for the 2017 SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) Referendum were approved by the Lincoln County Board of Commis­sioners.

The action was taken during the board’s regular meeting held Thurs­day, September 17.

The group also approved an inter­governmental agreement between the county and the City of Lincoln­ton. Based primarily on population, the city is slated to receive 19.40 percent of the one-cent tax, and the county, 80.60 percent.

If the referendum passes, the five- year tax will go into effect January 1, 2017 and generate an estimated total of $3,180,000.

The funds will be used for:

(1) The renovation of existing gov­ernment buildings (courthouse).

(2) Road construction.

(3) General government infra­structure including the maintenance of existing buildings; the replace­ment of a fire engine and other county vehicles; the construction of an animal shelter, contingent upon the establishment of a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to oper­ate the facility; and water/sewer projects.

(4) The replacement of patrol cars for the sheriff’s office.

(5) Improvements at various county recreation areas such as the addition of walking and biking trails, a disc golf course, and so forth.

(6) The purchase of an ambulance, emergency services equipment, and fire/ rescue equipment.

“There are a lot of good things here that we could not get without SPLOST,” stated Wade Johnson, commission chairman.

The referendum will be held in conjunction with the General Pri­mary on May 24.

In other business, the commission­er voted to adopt the FY 2016 Gen­eral Fund Budget of $6,797,425.80, which includes raises for all employ­ees and $40,000 to cover a third of the cost of a three-year update and reappraisal of all real property in the county.

The budget contains no capital projects.

The commissioners then set the millage rate for county government at the rollback rate of 10.191 mills.

Other taxes levied by the group were:

(1) Lincoln County Board of Education: School Maintenance and Operations, 17.012 mills, and School Bonds, 3.228 mills.

(2) Lincoln County Economic Development Authority, 1 mill.

(3) State, .05 mills.

For the past few years, the state millage rate has dropped by .05 mills annually and will continue to do so until it has been eliminated.

The total of all tax rates equals 31.481 mills, compared to 32.21 last year. This represents an over­all decrease of .729 mills or 2.26 percent.

In his comments, Chairman John­son thanked Traci Bussey, finance director, along with the others who worked so hard on the budget.

In further business, the commis­sion: l Was informed by John Stone, director of the Lincoln County Eco­nomic Development Authority, that the authority is waiting for formal approval from the Georgia Board of Regents to establish an East Georgia State College campus in Lincoln County. l Heard the Office of Emergency Services (OES) Report given by Di­rector Casey Broom, who indicated that ambulance personnel responded to 162 calls for service during the month of August. The average re­sponse time was eight minutes.

As for fire and rescue activity, there were four fire calls and two rescue calls.

In other items of information, the director said he is continuing to look for grants to help with the purchase of an ambulance and other equipment.

Speaking to Broom, Chairman Johnson said, “If you find an ambu­lance, I will poll the commissioners to allow you to purchase the truck before it is sold to someone else. If it’s on a bid basis, we will submit a bid.”

Heard the Recreation Department Report given by Director Glen Mat­thews who said that Latrellis Glaze has been hired as the assistant rec­reation director.

Concerning Pop Warner football, the season began August 29, with a good crowd in attendance. The teams will play at Buddy Bufford Field on Saturday, September 26, beginning at 9 a.m.

“We are very proud of the commu­nity support, stated the director.

In a related item of information, Matthews indicated that a drawing for a TV raised over $800 for the Pop Warner program. The television was donated by Georgia Gunby in honor of Jessie Gunby.

In other business, the director said that TCB will hold a satellite cheer­leading clinic at the gymnasium every Monday night. l Heard the Finance Department Report given by Director Bussey, who said that emergency repairs had been made on the door to the exercise yard at the jail. The door also serves as a fire escape.

The commission voted to take $1,494.34 out of the jail fee fund to cover the cost. l Heard the Public Works Depart­ment Report given by Director Roby Seymour, who said his office billed 1,430 water customers, 613 avail­ability customers, and 155 sewerage customers a total of $67,920.49 for the month of August. l Voted to hire EMI (Engineer­ing Management, Inc.) to provide preliminary engineering services in connection with efforts by the county to extend water lines into the northern portion of Lincoln County and Montego Point.

The cost of the services is not to exceed $17,000.

According Director Seymour, the lines will result in the addition of 111 new customers.

Plans are for the project to be funded by a 75 percent grant/25 percent loan from the USDA. l Voted to hire C and H Paving, Inc. of Thomson to resurface the following roads through the DOT’s LMIG (Local Maintenance and Im­provement Grant) program: Shore­line Drive, Lucky Street, Guillebeau Road, Pistol Creek Road, and Water Oak Drive.

The project will cost a total of $267,921. The state will cover $235,000 of the cost, with the county’s 10-percent match set at $35,000.

Roads that had to be cut from the LMIG list were Paradise Street, Water View Drive, and Plantation Point Road. However, the three roads will be given top priority when it is time to select roads for next year’s LMIG. l Voted to replace the speed bumps on Jamaica Court as well as place the unpaved section of the road on the LMIG list. l Heard the Planning and Zoning Report given by Director Seymour, who said his office issued five busi­ness licenses last month for a total of $236.25. A zoning request brought in an additional $200.

Concerning code enforcement activities, 33 building permits were issued in August for a total of $2,107.50. l Voted to rezone 25 acres of land on Albert Drive, belonging to Robert Borchert, from A-2 (Interior Agriculture) to A-3 (Lakefront Agri­culture) to enable the owner to place a doublewide manufactured home on the property. l Voted to approve Ben Jackson, county attorney, to serve as the prosecutor for probate/magistrate court. l Voted to approve an amendment to the contract for misdemeanor probation services provided by CSRA Probation Services, Inc. The amendment will increase the monthly probation supervision fee from $35 to $40. l Voted to donate $2,500 to help support Holidays in Olde Lincoln Towne, an annual festival sponsored by the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.

In conclusion, the commissioners voted to change their next regular monthly meeting to Thursday, Octo­ber 15, at 6 p.m. in the courtroom on the second floor of the courthouse.

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