Tattnall County Manager Frank Murphy shared with Glennville Rotarians last Wednesday, April 13 items on the upcoming May 24 election ballot and the many projects, especially resurfacing and new paving, that have been accomplished. He also talked about ongoing projects in the county.
Tattnall has added four sales taxes over the last 40 years, all that have significantly benefited the citizens and taxpayers of the county.
“In 1980, a one percent sales tax was added, with these proceeds being allocated among the various cities in the county based on population; these have helped take the burden off property owners. In the 1990s, a one percent SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) further helped to offset property taxes. The ESPLOST was next added, which is for education in Tattnall County public schools. This has made possible numerous improvements to school facilities and additional items for our students. The TSPLOST is designated for transportation and is just ending its first ten-year period,” Murphy said.
The county SPLOST has made possible the Tattnall County Governmental Complex, which now houses the Tattnall County Extension Service and will soon be home to the Tattnall offices of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS).
“Tattnall DFCS personnel are working from home or in temporary offices in Evans County, allowing for the old DFCS building to be renovated at the same time as the Governmental Complex renovations for the new DFCS office. Hopefully, this will save time and money by using the same superintendent and sub-contractors for the renovations,” Murphy said. “Both the ESPLOST and TSPLOST are on the ballot for renewal May 24, and citizens are encouraged to vote yes for both of these.”
The State of Georgia enacted the Transportation Investment Act (TIA) in 2010 to provide an opportunity for regions throughout Georgia to impose a one percent Regional Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) to fund transportation improvements within their region.
Tattnall is in one of three regions that were successful in passing the tax in 2012 for the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission, comprised of 17 counties. TSPLOST is managed by a 34-member board made up of each county’s chairman and the mayor of the largest city.
“Seventy-five percent of collections are assigned to Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Project Management, with 25 percent of collection assigned to local governments for management. Collections are allocated to each county and city in the region based on population and centerline miles,” Murphy said. “Another plus by being in a TSPLOST region is that the county’s match is only ten percent instead of non-TSPLOST region counties having to match 30 percent for their Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) road resurfacing/paving projects.
“Tattnall County projects managed by GDOT that have been completed include over four million dollars, which include paving of Dennis Oliver Road and resurfacing of Raymond Bland Road, Bubba Kennedy Road, Lynntown Road, and Hillview Road. Tattnall County projects managed by GDOT remaining include Cyril Burkhalter/Milefield Road resurfacing and realignment, to be let in July 2022; Airport Road realigning/paving; and the passing lanes on Hwy. 23/57 between Glennville and Reidsville,” said Murphy, with these three projects amounting to over $12 million.
“The tree cutting phase on Hwy. 23 is currently ongoing with the passing lanes project estimated to be completed within the next 12 to 18 months,” he said.
Another State project to which the county contributed three acres is for a new Georgia State Patrol Post next to the current Tattnall County Jail (and across from Low Country Cremation in Reidsville). This new post will not provide driver licensing services, however.
“Tattnall County and its cities have been very fortunate to have this TSPLOST money, since it has made a huge difference in the resurfacing and paving projects that have been done without an increase in property taxes,” Murphy said in closing.