With less than ten-percent of the county’s registered voters heading to the polls, the SPLOST V referendum narrowly passed by nine-hundred votes. The program is estimated to collect $204 million dollars in local sales tax over a five-year period, starting April 1, 2020.
The first twenty percent of collections, or $40.8 million, will be set aside to complete the county’s “Level II Projects.” This set of projects is headlined by a $22 million dollar aquatic center, to be centrally located near I-75. Other projects include seed money for two recreation centers for use by the Boys & Girls Club, a police precinct in Fairview, two new fire stations (Ola and Flippen), and two fire station rebuilds (Hampton and Fairview).
The remaining eighty percent of collections will be divided between Henry County and the four municipalities based on population. It’s estimated that the first twenty percent will be collected and revenue sharing begin after sixteen to eighteen months of collections, or fall 2021.
After revenue sharing begins, projects include three additional county police precincts, a new McDonough fire station, a cultural arts center in Stockbridge, and transportation improvements.
Major transportation projects include widening state route 81 in Ola and Rock Quarry Road in Stockbridge, dependent on federal funding, completing the McDonough Parkway to provide a bypass around the town square, and widening West Village Parkway and Fairview Road in north Henry. Intersections that are fully funded include East Lake Road at Airline, SR 20 at Turner Church, and Bridges Road at Willow Lane.
Dirt road paving projects include Peeksville Road, between Old Jackson Road and the Tussahaw reservoir, and Burg Road in Locust Grove. Funding for approximately twenty-five miles of road resurfacing is also included.
Election results are unofficial tallies.