On March 21, Fayette Countians go the polls to vote on a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST).
What is on the list?
Roads top the SPLOST list totaling nearly $60 million. The road project list includes, but certainly is not limited to, a bridge replacement at Ebenezer Church Road, realignment of Ga. Highway 279 and Corinth Road, Lafayette Road extension and repaving across the county.
Stormwater projects make up nearly $24 million of the SPLOST. The 2015 Christmas rains brought to light the need for better stormwater infrastructure. Stormwater best management practices have improved significantly. We now know the metal structures that were used in the 1970s do not have the lifespan of concrete and must be replaced.
Fayette County and the municipalities have phenomenal emergency and safety systems. Fayette’s first responders have a response time that is one-third of the national average. Technology is the backbone to communication channels first responders need. Fayette County is still using analog radios. Replacing them with digital radios is an important part of SPLOST, insuring our first responders have the latest technology for the best communication among themselves and neighboring jurisdictions.
The SPLOST project list includes many quality of life projects. Two examples: Peachtree City’s signature multi-use cart path system needs repair and expansion and Woolsey’s mercantile building that now is an eyesore can become a focal point for the town and serve as its City Hall.
To see a complete list of projects, visit www.voteyes4fayette.com.
But why should Fayette County vote yes? We want our emergency response team to reach us quickly and not have issues because of an outdated radio system. We want our roads and multi-use paths smooth and traffic running well. We don’t want roads to wash out when it rains. We want to bring some of those taxes we pay to Uncle Sam back to Fayette County too and we can use SPLOST dollars as federal grant matches. And we should want to tap other sources available to pay for capital improvements and maintenance other than just property tax.
A penny isn’t much individually. While everyone’s spending habits are different, the tax increase for most individuals is likely to be less than the cost of a Chick-Fil-A sandwich once a week. Collectively, all the pennies add up to an estimated $23 million a year.
Vote Yes: Your small investment means a great Fayette!
[Carlotta Ungaro is president and CEO of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, located in Fayetteville. The Chamber represents almost 800 member businesses and organizations and strives “to promote business and enhance economic and community development through leadership, service and advocacy for Fayette County.”]