BlogOconee Observations

Oconee County Is Close to Finalizing a $65 Million SPLOST List

Commission Chairman John Daniell hears from Animal Services manager Crystal Berisko.

Oconee County voters in November will be presented with a $64.6 million wish list of projects to be funded by a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax if the Board of Commissioners accepts a staff proposal given it last week.

Included on the list is $14.4 million for roads and bridges, $7.5 million for water and sewer projects, $6.9 million for a library and government administrative building, and $6.3 million for county broadband.

The list also includes nearly $9 million for the county’s four cities to use for their own projects.

County Administrator Justin Kirouac told the board it was necessary to trim back submitted requests for projects, which had come to $78.5 million, to come closer to what the county can reasonably expect to receive from the 1% sales tax over six years starting in late 2021.

That $64.6 million projection—to be used in the referendum presented to voters—is $9 million more than the 2015 SPLOST was projected to bring in.

Actual revenue is running at about 80 percent of that figure, and Kirouac told the Board that the county will budget at the 80 percent level as it plans to fund the projects on the 2021 SPLOST list.

The next step, Kirouac told the board, is to meet with the mayors of the four cities at the commission’s next meeting on June 2 and then sign Intergovernmental Agreements specifying how the money will be allocated–based on population of the cities–among the five governmental entities.

One option the county is considering for the 2021 SPLOST is borrowing against projected revenue to build more quickly the library and administrative building on property the county purchased on the northeastern edge of Watkinsville.

For more, visit Oconee County Observations.