Henry Minutes July 22, 2021

Map shows McDonough and Locust Grove city limits in southern Henry County. The map has three properties outlined in yellow between I-75 and SR 42 north of Bethlehem Road. The Locust Grove council annexed the properties into city limits in July 2021 (Henry County qPublic photo).

In today’s Henry Minutes, I cover an annexation in Locust Grove, Henry County called the referendum for transportation SPLOST and the county is accepting design bids for Bill Gardner Parkway. Henry Minutes is a collection of news from around Henry County.

Locust Grove Annexation

On Monday evening, July 19, the Locust Grove city council approved the annexation of 196 +/- acres into city limits. The property is located north of Bethlehem Road between I-75 and SR 42. This extends the city further north than ever before.

Norfolk Southern owns the property, as well as additional land to the south. The additional area consisting of 149.7 +/- acres was previously annexed into the city. The company has long-term plans for a logistics facility on the land. No change in zoning was considered concurrent to the annexation request.

The council voted 4-2 to approve the annexation. Council members Carlos Greer and Vincent Williams voted in opposition. The annexation is effective August 1, 2021.

Henry County Transportation SPLOST

On Tuesday, July 20, the Henry County commissioners finalized the proposed transportation SPLOST program. It will now appear on the November ballot. County voters must decide whether or not to approve it. Election Day is November 2, 2021.

Transportation SPLOST will increase the local sales tax rate from seven to eight percent, but also raise greater revenue for transportation projects. The county estimates the one-cent local sales tax would collect $245 million over five years. The county and four cities will split the revenue for local projects. The revenue split is based on population. Example projects include widening Rock Quarry Road in Stockbridge and building the northern segment of the McDonough Parkway.

Before Tuesday’s meeting, the county and four cities approved an intergovernmental agreement (IGA). The IGA includes project lists for the program. It also allows the county to collect a full one-cent sales tax. State law limits counties without an IGA to 0.75 cents.

Moving Henry Forward will have continued coverage of T-SPLOST leading up to Election Day.

Design of Bill Gardner Parkway

Finally, Henry County is accepting proposals for the design of Bill Gardner Parkway. The project seeks to widen the road between I-75 and SR 155. Design proposals are due by August 18. Afterwards, county staff will review the submissions and recommend a firm to the BOC for approval.

Previously, Henry County received federal funds towards scoping work. Scoping is the first step in the project process. It includes survey work as well as identifying a preferred concept. The end goal of scoping is to finalize the state project concept report.

At this time, no additional funding is allocated for the project. Later phases include preliminary engineering, right of way and construction. The county has $34 million dollars on its T-SPLOST project list for the project. Should T-SPLOST pass, then the widening project will advance further along.

Support Moving Henry Forward

If you appreciate my work on this article, please consider supporting the site. For as little as $3 a month, you can help me keep you in the loop about our community. To become a supporter, click here.

Sign up for my e-mail newsletter. The newsletter is a great way to stay connected with Moving Henry Forward.