SPLOST V committee awaiting Nash Farm cost estimate before setting district II recommendations

Master plan for Nash Farm (Henry County photo)
Nash Farm Park master planNash Farm Park master plan (Henry County photo)

The SPLOST V committee met this week at Luella Middle School to discuss project recommendations in commission district II. The district includes much of Henry County west of I-75, stretching from Rum Creek in the Red Oak area to Hampton-Locust Grove Road and the Spalding County line.

The committee is awaiting cost estimates on capital projects before setting project recommendations because implementing the Nash Farm Park master plan is a top priority within the district. Proposed improvements at the 204-acre property include an amphitheater, multipurpose trails, renovations to existing buildings, and a recreation center.

Absent from the meeting was any mention about the proposed convention center or contingent development agreement that was approved on Tuesday by the board of commissioners. During that meeting, Commissioner Clemmons pledged $5 million dollars in district II SPLOST funds towards internal roadways for the Everly Henry development, however the agreement appears unlikely to advance further over a condition that the property de-annex from Stockbridge. City officials have expressed their continued commitment to the project with no intentions to approve de-annexation.

When asked about projects to widen State Route 155 south of I-75 and Jonesboro Road, budgeted for construction by Georgia DOT in the years 2029 and 2034, county staff responded that in order to receive state funding for the projects, Henry County must follow GDOT’s schedule. Local funding is often utilized in Gwinnett and north Fulton Counties to advance widening projects; however, Henry County has historically offered little assistance towards major projects along state routes.

The state route 155 widening project between I-75 and Bill Gardner Parkway was estimated at a cost of $38,165,800 within the county’s comprehensive transportation plan. If multiple members of the commission worked together and considered widening SR 155 a priority, the project could be completed using local dollars. A great example of this is the Eagles Landing Parkway widening project completed in 2012, funded by commission districts III, IV, and V, alongside federal stimulus money following the economic recession.

The only major transportation project under consideration is the Flippen Road extension, a new roadway connecting Kerrie Court to the Dutchtown schools and Jonesboro Road. First included on the SPLOST I project list in 1996, the benefits provided by the project may duplicate other efforts since Georgia DOT is fully funding the western parallel connector and Georgia 42 widening to improve north-south connectivity in the county.

One dirt road is included among the possible projects for consideration to be paved. Dutchtown Road is a private road located west of the Crystal Lakes subdivision running between Jonesboro Road and Mt Carmel Road. The project is estimated to cost $5.9 million, dependent upon the owner agreeing to donate the road.

A list of possible projects and their cost estimates is listed below. Note that some of the projects discussed above were not included among the cost estimates.

Project Cost Estimate Notes
Capital Projects
Nash Farm Park Master Plan & Amphitheater
Recreation Center
Major Transportation Projects
Flippen Road extension $4,676,206.71 SPLOST I not completed project
Intersection Improvements
Mt Carmel Road at S Mt Carmel Rd $2,120,191.39 SPLOST II not completed project
SR 155 at Greenwood Industrial $2,065,000.00
Jonesboro Road at Mitchell Road $2,171,123.68
Dirt Road Projects
Dutchtown Road $5,867,500.00
Total $16,900,021.78

The committee is budgeting project recommendations worth $18,811,000 within each commission district, following the adoption of $71 million in countywide project recommendations. That amount may change subject to the ongoing discussion about the proposed convention center. All project recommendations will be presented to the board of commissioners in May, before the BOC decides the final project list in summer 2019.

The SPLOST V referendum will be held in November where residents will be asked to renew the local sales tax for an additional six years. If approved, SPLOST V collections would start on April 1, 2020 and continue until March 31, 2025.

The SPLOST V committee is meeting once in each commission district before concluding its work. Commission district II will be revisited at the meeting on February 28, alongside district IV.

All meetings are open to the public and held on Thursdays at 6:30 pm.

  • District 3 – February 7 (Heritage Senior Center) *revisit district 1
  • District 4 – February 28 (Timber Ridge Elementary) *revisit district 2
  • District 5 – March 7 (Cotton Indian Elementary)
  • Final Meeting – March 21 (Henry County Administration Building)
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Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. Since 2017, he has written over 900 articles sharing local updates with the community.