The City of Calhoun used their part of the SPLOST money to take care of projects that were left unattended during the economic hardship.
“With the voter approved SPLOST in November of 2011 the City of Calhoun, Gordon County, Resaca, Fairmount and Plainville are playing catch up on equipment, facilities and other capital improvements,” City of Calhoun Administrator Eddie Peterson said. “The great recession, which began in 2008, played havoc on local government’s efforts to keep up with the demands of the public in government services.”
The SPLOST fund was voted on in the Nov. 8, 2011 election, to be imposed in the special district of Gordon County for a period of time not to exceed six years and for the raising of not more than the estimated amount of $51,676,932 for various capital outlay projects, according to the Nov. 8, 2011 sample ballot.
Calhoun is expecting $9,621,049 over the course of the SPLOST and monies are allocated monthly per the intergovernmental agreement with Gordon County, according to a list of projected money from SPLOST for the City of Calhoun.
Also according to that list, the City of Calhoun received $66,813 the first two months of disbursement, $80,176 is expected each month through June 2013 and then $146,988 is expected each month through April 2018, which is when the agreement for SPLOST funds is set to end.
The City of Calhoun has allotted varying amounts of the $9.6 million to different areas for renovations and improvements, Peters St. will get $2 million from the city, public safety will get $750,000, library upgrades will get $400,000 from the city, recreation improvements will get $2.5 million, public works will get $850,000, utility fleet and service equipment will get $700,000 and utility system upgrades will get $2,421,049, according to the City of Calhoun’s list of SPLOST projects.
According to the SPLOST projects list, any overage will be used for repair and renovation of City owned buildings and property including capital improvements and equipment.
The pennies are already at work in the city. A recently completed $166,966 recreation building off of McDaniel Station Road is being used for concessions, restrooms, storage and other facility needs.
For those who like to walk or ride bikes a $60,000, one and a half mile path was recently paved at the McDaniel Road site.
“I think this (paved walking trail) was a good thing,” Gordon County residents Keith Barnes and Caitlyn Whitfield said. “It is better than the gravel because I think it will be safer for children and easier to maintain and better for bikes.”
Fields Ferry has new Bermuda greens and 20 replacement golf carts that were purchased this past summer.
The Mayor and Council decided to borrow $727,000 from electric reserves to purchase 27 new police cars, and $69,377 from the electric reserve to pay for the golf irrigation software and greens. The police fleet, golf irrigation software and greens SPLOST revenues will be repaid to the electric reserves over the next 36 months, according to Peterson.
“We are paying the electric fund, from SPLOST receipts, 20,000 a month from the police fleet and 5,000 a month for golf greens, carts and irrigation,” Peterson said.
Construction on the $1 million library expansion and renovation will begin in March 2013. Calhoun and Gordon County allocated $400,00 each along with $250,000 in sate funding for this 12-month construction project, according to Peterson.
Peters St., along with access improvements off of Peters St. into the Calhoun Elementary and Primary school are in the planning stages, according to Peterson. Calhoun and Gordon County have agreed to allocate two million each to improve Peters Street with drainage, curb gutter, sidewalks, paving and road design improvements.
“We are trying to take advantage of the money, but some of the bigger projects will be delayed till the end of the SPLOST because the dollars will not be available. Even though the larger projects will be more towards the end we have to do things along the way, as we can,” City of Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer said. ”We are pleased with the way things are going.”