At this point, the County Board of Commissioners has done everything possible to be as open and transparent in relation to the Core Infrastructure SPLOST referendum.
There have been two critics for the proposal, Mr. Dennis Chase and Mr. Paul Lentz, who have consistently stated that they do not support it. The chief complaint was that the county was not giving them answers to their questions.
The county government has given both men access to county staff and any documentation they requested, but they continued to state they were not receiving answers.
As a decisive show of transparency and accountability, the Board of Commissioners chose to take all questions from citizens and the news media at our Oct. 10 meeting and have those questions documented in the official meeting record.
We then kept our promise to answer all of the questions and disseminate them to the news media and post them on our county website.
Mr. Chase refused to offer any questions. At that point, our collective hands were tied because we cannot force anyone to ask questions in public.
For his part, Mr. Lentz did ask a number of questions and all were answered.
Later on, Mr. Chase and Mr. Lentz stated in a letter on Oct. 16 that the single reason the Core Infrastructure SPLOST should not pass is the lack of a master stormwater drainage plan. That issue was addressed in the answers the county provided on proposal.
We are currently working on the Stormwater Master Plan and it continues to be developed and refined.
Planning-level conceptual analyses for each Core Infrastructure SPLOST project proposed incorporates future-flood condition models to evaluate upstream and downstream impacts, along with the county’s street design standards and specifications, county and state safe dams rules, and sound engineering practices. That plan is in process.
The important point to remember is the Core Infrastructure SPLOST will maintain and replace existing infrastructure. Remember, this is keeping infrastructure that is already in the ground in working order and there are no new “fluffy” projects on the list.
The county takes its primary mission to protect human health and safety very seriously and considers the potential for stormwater pipes to fail under roads life-threatening.
Mr. Lentz has said we are using scare tactics. However, the reality is the county and the news media have reported facts relating to recent failed pipes under Kirkley, Mask, Morris, Brandon Mill Circle, Falcons Ridge and Merrydale roads.
The aging infrastructure under our roads has not been maintained and we have to come up with the funding to replace culvert failures on an emergency basis. This no way to operate.
The infrastructure in the ground has a life span and we must replace it when needed. To date, we are far behind.
Using a one-cent sales tax over a two-year period will mean that shoppers from out of county will help pay for the neglected repairs. Otherwise, we will cover the cost in total as the current infrastructure continues to fail.
If the Core Infrastructure does not pass, we will do our utmost to insure that things are maintained.
Please take the time to vote your conscience at the polls.
Steve Brown, Chairman
Fayette County Board of Commissioners