Madison County’s one-cent sales tax for local improvements has been renewed for six more years. And the county will allow Sunday alcohol sales after the new year.
Turnout was sparse for the Nov. 5 countywide referendums, with just 2,375 of Madison County’s 19,184 registered voters (12.4 percent) casting ballots.
The one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) was approved with 1,867 voters (79.2 percent) saying “Yes.” The sales tax will bring in over $13.3 million for the county and cities over the next six years with the renewal of a one-cent sales tax on every dollar spent in Madison County.
The lion’s share of county funds will go to the road department in the amount of $5,455,000 spread out over the six-year period. Other recipients of SPLOST funding in the county include volunteer fire departments ($1,455,000) the sheriff’s office ($885,000), recreation department ($365,000), E-911 upgrades ($905,000), EMS ($715,000), Industrial Development Authority ($1,620,000), historic courthouse restoration ($50,000), coroner’s office ($60,000) and facilities acquisition and improvement ($190,000).The city portions totaling $1.5 million split between municipalities are determined by population based on the 2010 Census. Each of the cities has pledged to use the funds for improvements to city water, roads, bridges and streets. Comer and Danielsville have allocated some funds for their sewer systems.
Meanwhile, alcohol sales between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Sundays were approved by county voters by a 1,373 to 987 margin (58 to 42 percent). That change will take effect Jan. 1.
Only one municipal race was contested in Madison County Tuesday. In the District 3 council election in Comer, Laura Minish led the way, but failed to get over 50 percent of the votes in the three-way race. She tallied 31 votes (49.2 percent). Tommy R. Appling was second with 26 votes (41.3 percent), while incumbent Howard Threlkeld received five votes (7.9 percent). A runoff between Appling and Minish will be held Dec. 3.
Comer residents passed Sunday package sales by 115 to 45 (72 to 28 percent) and Sunday beverage sales 112 to 47 (70 to 30 percent).