Madison County News

May 22, 2008


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County improvements...
So what’s up first?
BOC to determine which SPLOST projects will be financed with loans
BY ZACH MITCHAM
Madison County commissioners met last year to determine what to put on the SPLOST ballot. Now they’re trying to determine which projects will be tackled first.
The one-cent, six-year sales tax approved by county voters in February is expected to bring in $12.6 million, but leaders don’t want to wait on the slow trickle of pennies until they break ground on county improvements.
So, the BOC intends to borrow money to get started.
Though doubling the size of the county jail seems the consensus pick as the most important sales tax project, the board has yet to establish a priority list on the other items on the special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) ticket.
The board agreed to meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. before its regularly scheduled 6:30 p.m. meeting to talk about what projects will be addressed in what order.
“We have to determine what we’re going to finance and what we’re not,” said Commissioner Wesley Jordan.
Commissioner Bruce Scogin said establishing a batting order for the projects won’t be an easy task.
“Every department head will deem their project important,” he said.
County leaders met with representatives from Wachovia Bank Monday afternoon to discuss financing options for sales tax projects.
Madison County commissioners tagged $3.3 million for the expansion of the county jail, but that figure won’t cover the cost of construction, which is estimated in the $4.4 million range if the project is started soon.
A Wachovia representative said the board can finance the money through the bank, getting the $3.3 million up front. However, the county will pay $436,000 in interest on the loan. She suggested that the remaining $1.1 million for the jail construction be paid out of the county’s general funds at an annual rate of $208,000 for the next six years.
Commissioners say that doubling the size of the county jail will save the county money in the long run, eliminating substantial housing-out costs for female inmates.



 

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