The Board of Commissioners has decided to move forward with pursuing a referendum on the TSPLOST and has reached out to Covington, Oxford, Porterdale, Newborn, Mansfield and Social Circle for an intergovernmental agreement (IGA). If the IGA is reached then the county as a whole would have an estimated $56,100,000 to help with safety, infrastructure, traffic low and mobility in Newton County. If the IGA is not reached, the county would receive an estimated $42,075,000 to improve Newton County’s transportation needs.
This step is vital in ensuring the citizens get full value for their contributions if they elect to support the TSPLOST.
Once a decision is made on an IGA, the County can move on to the next step to call for a referendum, which must be done 90 days prior to an election – in this case Nov. 3, 2020.
During the June 16 Board of Commissioners meeting, the board discussed projects that could be completed with funds raised from the TSPLOST, as recommended by a SPLOST committee made up of Newton County residents.
If approved, the following would be areas and costs of what would be done in our community:
- Safety improvements - $1.9 million
- Bridge replacement/repair - $6.9 million
- Facility expansion - $17 million
- Intersection Improvements - $7.9 million
- Paving/resurfacing - $6 million
- Transit - $2 million
These topics are being left in general terms in order to not tie us in to any projects that we may receive other funds for and enable us to utilize taxpayer money to its fullest.
I would be remiss, however, if I didn’t expand a little bit on the transit portion. We are looking strictly at intra-county transit to help members of our community get to the places they need within our community. This is envisioned to allow those Newton County residents who need to get to one of our many secondary education opportunities get there to improve themselves; to allow our residents who may not have a vehicle to get to work and to help get our seniors to work or the store.
Myself and the Board of Commissioners will look at any avenue to help the citizens of Newton County.
Thank you for taking the time to read the Chairman’s Corner and I hope you have a great week until the next installment.
Chairman, Newton County Board of Commissioners.