It has been more than a decade since Fayette County voters passed a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for infrastructure. With the March passage, the Fayette County Commission is looking at numerous projects that will be funded by an estimated $64 million raised through SPLOST in the coming years.
Of the total $64.6 million in revenues expected from SPLOST for county projects, commissioners at a March retreat received a snapshot of revenues and expenditures and heard plans on project implementation.
The first projects will occur in FY 2018, which begins in July. That year is expected to see $9.5 million spent in several SPLOST categories. Those include $4.56 million on stormwater projects, $2.3 million on transportation, $150,000 for the public safety radio system, $2.2 million for fire and emergency services and $223,000 for the Woolsey Community Center.
Project amounts exceeding $200,000 will go before commissioners as procurement items.
The $2.2 million for fire and emergency services will see Fire Station No. 4 relocated from Johnson Avenue to McEloy Road near McDonough Road for a cost of approximately $1.7 million. Also in 2018, spending will include $394,000 for a replacement fire pumper and $150,000 for the fire training center site development.
The list of stormwater projects that will begin in FY 2018 is long and contained in four categories.
Category 1, marked for flooding and safety, will see $686,000 for currently-funded projects, work on Heritage Park Way and Graves Road, and repayment to the county’s general fund.
Category 2 projects, marked for stormwater infrastructure preservation, are divided into Tier 1 and 2 projects. Tier 1 projects, eight in total, carry a price tag of $2.85 million. The remaining Tier 1 funds will be applied to upcoming Tier 1 projects.
Tier 2 projects, those that will soon need to be replaced, are currently being prioritized and will have $500,000 in funding available for FY 2018. To be completed prior to July 1, the ranking is based on system condition, damage to public right-of-way, public safety, project location and damage to private property.
Category 3 and 4 projects, which will total $275,200 and $275,875, respectively, include 26 projects designated for stormwater infrastructure preservation and improvement, and will be based on paving priority and staff availability.
Transportation projects for FY 2018, totaling $2.313 million, will be divided into five categories. Of those, $1.03 million is designated for infrastructure preservation and improvements and resurfacing, $20,445 for federal aid corridor improvements, $372,750 for intersection improvements, $720,000 for pedestrian, bicycle and multi-use path projects and $166,000 for planning studies.
Infrastructure projects include design work for Kenwood Road school zone (North Fayette Elementary School) with plans for construction in 2018. Other projects include asphalt resurfacing.
Federal aid corridor improvement projects include initiating concept reports and planning studies for the realignments of Sandy Creek Road and Ga. Highway 279.
The intersection improvements category will see design work initiated for four intersections, with design data used to identify the two highest-priority projects. Work is expected to begin in 2019.
The pedestrian, bicycle and multi-use path category will see three projects initiated in FY 2018. One of those is the Redwine Road multi-use path, with SPLOST funds used for a local match with existing federal funds. The construction bid is expected to be awarded in FY 2018 with project completion expected in FY 2019.
Another project is the Starr’s Mill tunnel, with design initiated in summer 2017 and a goal of construction during the summer break in 2018.
A third project, work on a bike lane and multi-use path, will be determined based on recommendations from the county’s upcoming master path plan.
The final category deals with planning studies for upcoming projects. Federal aid might be received for some of the projects and might impact schedules.
FY 2018 will also see the expenditure of $150,000 for the public safety radio system. That system, which will put Fayette County on par with upgraded public safety systems across the U.S., will cost approximately $18 million through FY 2023.
The succeeding years of SPLOST revenue generation will see $10.5-11.2 million spent each year for stormwater, transportation, public safety radio system and fire and emergency services projects.