The McDuffie County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution during a called meeting on July 28 that calls for voters to approve or decline the continuation of a one cent sales tax. A referendum to continue the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax will be placed before voters in the Nov. 3 General Election.
SPLOST funds are used for capital improvement projects. This includes public buildings, equipment and infrastructure. If approved, revenues from a SPLOST VII collection would begin in January 2021.
County officials estimate SPLOST VII will bring in tax revenues of $21,206,480 over a six-year period.
Commissioner Fred Favors was the only commission member to vote against the resolution. Favors had voiced opposition to the proposed SPLOST VII project list during two previous commission meetings, when a majority of the commission would not commit additional funding to upgrade sewer infrastructure for neighborhoods along Daniel Place and Dagget and Hamilton roads. Earlier this summer, Daniel Place and Dagget and Hamilton road homeowners addressed the commission over concerns that their families are facing health risks from failing septic systems.
In other county business, commissioners approved a bid from Two State Construction in the amount of $14,383 to make improvements to the lobby in the Government Center. These improvements are being made to better protect government employees and the public from COVID-19 infection, County Manager David Crawley explained. The project includes installing a permanent tempered glass partition and repainting. Crawley said the county could seek reimbursement for the lobby improvements through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, established through the CARES Act. According to home.treasury.gov, the fund can cover expenses incurred due to the pandemic and were not accounted for in the government entity’s budget (most recently approved as of March 27). The fund may cover costs incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website.
The commission also approved an annual grant application for the Toombs Judicial Circuit Adult Felony Drug Court for fiscal year 2021. Funding from the grant supports the drug court program from July 1-June 30, 2021.
County Finance Director Pam Workman presented monthly financial and budget reports for the month of June to the Board of Commissioners.
Among the highlights of her report, Workman said the hotel/motel tax revenue for June 2020 was 47 percent less than the amount collected in June 2019.
But Local Option Sales Tax and SPLOST revenues for June 2020 exceeded the June 2019 collections, she said.