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Oconee County’s Bridge to Nowhere

Photo Credit: Lee Becker

In March of 2009, voters in Oconee County overwhelmingly approved a 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum setting aside $1.1 million for spending on “recreational, historic and scenic facilities” in the county.

More than three years later, in May of 2012, the Oconee County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to spend $90,000 from that “recreational, historic and scenic facilities” category of SPLOST 2009, with most of that money going to replacement of a damaged “bridge” in Northwest Woods.

The “bridge,” a subdivision amenity, did not span anything, but rather it sat on cement pads where Robin Hood Road passes over a buried culvert.

The story of the “bridge,” which came to light as the county prepared for SPLOST 2015, tells a lot about the disconnect between the language of a SPLOST referendum and how the money actually is spent once it is collected.

That disconnect is particularly relevant as the county prepares for a new SPLOST referendum in November.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.