As the county and cities work through final negotiations on the proposed SPLOST V program, at least one city and the county will hold called meetings this week to discuss the program. Stockbridge has called a meeting for Monday, July 15, and the board of commissioners has a called meeting on Wednesday, July 17.
Stockbridge City Council
The Stockbridge city council will meet on Monday, July 15, at 4 pm at city hall. The meeting agenda is brief, discussing only the SPLOST V program and Service Delivery Strategy agreement.
Stockbridge officials have previously stated approximately half of their SPLOST V collections would be budgeted for civic projects if voters approve the program. These projects include a culture arts center, senior/ youth center, and city hall annex. Road improvements, water & sewer infrastructure, park improvements, and sidewalks & trails comprise the remainder of the city’s list.
Board of Commissioners
The Henry County Board of Commissioners have a called meeting on Wednesday, July 17, at 10 am to discuss the county’s project list. Commissioners engaged in heated dialogue this past week over the suggestion that funding for a jail pod addition and fleet replacement program be reallocated to build two aquatic centers within the county. A motion to change the county’s project list failed in a 3-3 partisan vote.
The county’s project list budgets roughly sixty percent of collections for transportation improvements, including road widening projects along state route 81 in Ola, Rock Quarry Road in Stockbridge, and Fairview Road. Any changes to the list are unlikely to pass in the politically-charged partisan-split board.
75 / 25 split vs 70 / 30 split
The final layout of SPLOST V that will ultimately go before the voters for approval remains uncertain as the county and cities disagree over the proposed split in collections. Henry County is pushing to split the funds 75% to 25%, as done in SPLOST III and SPLOST IV, but the cities have requested an increase in their share to thirty percent. The city councils appear united in their request for more funding citing as evidence that thirty percent of county residents live within incorporated areas and that percentage is growing every year.
The board of commissioners issued a “final ultimatum” this week for the cities to approve project lists, agree to the 75 / 25 split, and approve the intergovernmental agreement by July 19. County officials have stated they will forego the IGA in favor of a five-year SPLOST program if the cities do not agree to their demands.