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Road improvements top SPLOST VI projects
County ready to move forward with work
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With special purpose local option sales tax collections continuing to roll in at the anticipated rate, county officials are readying to move forward with projects approved by voters last year.

Citizens overwhelmingly approved the county's 1-cent sales tax extension in November 2014.

Of the $46 million expected to be generated over the six year life of the extension, 67 percent, or $21.2 million, is planned to make county road improvements.

New vehicles for the sheriff's office, public safety equipment, including a new ambulance and fire engine, and repairs to the recreational facilities are also among planned purchases.

Public Works Director David McKee has asked commissioners to allow staff to move forward with the first phase of the project list.

"We have done a good bit of work up and to this point trying to determine priority and set some projects aside that we can get accomplished between now and the end of fiscal year 2016," he said.

According to McKee, the county expects to collect about $2.5 million in 2015 and an additional $5.8 million in 2016.

"Year to date, we've collected just over $1.4 million for this SPLOST VI, so we've got $1.4 million right now to move forward," he said.

Repairs on Dawson Forest, Kelly Bridge and Steve Tate roads top the county's priority road improvement projects, while developing an acquisition strategy to bring in the new patrol cars and public safety vehicles to the county's fleet is also of high concern.

"My goal is to go over these projects, go over what the projections were and then annually come back before the board to discuss and give a status update of where we are on the projects, what we've done and what we're going to be doing moving forward," McKee said.