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City, county come to SPLOST agreement, Special hearing Thursday

Dawson County and city officials have come to terms on dividing up money from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) .

The agreement, which was approved by Dawson County commissioners at their vote session Thursday night, allows the county to collect the one-cent sales tax for special projects for six years. If the two entities had not come to an agreement, the county could collect for only five years.

Based on population projections, County Manager Cindy Campbell predicted that a total of $45,323,250 could be collected over a six-year period.

The county agreed to an 85/15 percent split with Dawsonville.

If the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) is approved at a special called hearing Thursday, of those total projections, the county would receive $38,524,762 and the city $6,798,488.

The motion to approve the recommendation was made by Commissioner Gary Pichon. It was seconded by Jimmy Hamby.

The city and county have come to an agreement, Commission Chair Mike Berg said. Which is what you want to always try to achieve. The boards have done that so if things go well on the 26th, we will set the IGA in motion and we wont have to worry about SPLOST for another six years.

Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan said he was glad an agreement was reached. I feel it was a good figure for both of us and shows what can be done when we consider whats best for the citizens, Grogan said. The county has good projects, as does the city.

County projects getting SPLOST money have been divided up by departments. The majority of the projections would go to public works at 67.44 percent, or $26 million, if the county maxed its collections. Of that money, $21.2 million would be put toward roads, culverts, sidewalks, bike trails and right-of-way. The rest would go toward public works equipment, facility and a recycling facility in the southeast part of the county.

The department receiving the second-largest amount of SPLOST money is public safety, which would get 21.1 percent of the total amount. If the maximum amount of collections is reached, the sheriffs department would receive $3.8 million to go toward vehicles and equipment. The county then would use $1.7 million for a fire station and another $1.7 million for fire trucks and equipment. The rest of the collections would be used for ambulances and equipment.

Parks and Recreation was allocated, at maximum projections, just over $4 million or 10.55 percent. The money would be used for field lighting and repair, building repairs and equipment, recreation property for multi-use fields, a canoe put-in and acquiring and constructing recreation property.

The remaining $350,000, or .91 percent of SPLOST money allotted to the county, would be used for information technology equipment.

Projects the city has designated for SPLOST money include park acquisition and development, sidewalk and road resurfacing, sewer and water projects, road equipment and building, debt reduction, farmers market acquisition, and revitalization of downtown.

City and county officials will meet Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Dawson County Government Center to consider the proposed IGA and resolution on the SPLOST agreement.