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County sets date for SPLOST panel

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The Floyd County Commission expects to make appointments to the 2017 Citizens SPLOST Advisory Com­mittee at its April 25 meeting.

Commission Chair Rhonda Wallace said Tuesday that anyone interested in serving should fill out a volunteer form at the county clerk’s office.

The committee will recommend a package of projects to vote on in November for funding through an extension of the 1-cent special purpose, local option sales tax.

“We haven’t addressed any particular projects yet, but I’ve had several people say we should do a new road or paving,” Wallace said. “I’ve also heard trails, an aquatic center and improvements at the historic courthouse.”

A new, larger elections office is another need, Commissioner Larry Maxey said, but he nodded in agreement when the conversation turned back to the Historic Floyd County Courthouse on West Fifth.

“We have some space-needs issues, no question,” County Manager Jamie McCord said. “I’m not advocating anything yet, but if we renovate the historic courthouse, that would alleviate some of it. There’s a lot of room in there.”

The county will name six members of the committee, the Rome City Commission will choose four and the Cave Spring Council will make one appointment.

Wallace said the group and its chairman, David Newby, would set its own schedule.

Wallace also called for department heads and members of the public to start thinking of projects to submit for review once the process has been determined.

The 2013 SPLOST, which runs through March 31, 2019, included a citizen-submitted project — a $5.8 million water line extension to the Everett Springs area. McCord said PAWS, the new Public Animal Welfare Services building on North Avenue, also stemmed from public advocacy.

In other actions Tuesday, county commissioners approved an increase to $1,100 from $800 for installation of drainage pipes under driveways.

“The price has stayed the same since 2004 and we’re taking a loss on almost every one we do,” McCord said.

Builders are now automatically going to the county for the work, he said, because it’s cheaper than hiring a contractor. The board unanimously approved the increase.

“We’re here to do a service for people when needed,” Wallace said. “Not to undercut private business.”

Commissioners also noted calls about cuts to public parking spaces in the Historic Courthouse lot. County Clerk Erin Elrod said new markings created the perception, but there’s been no change.

State law requires accessible spaces for employees at the two government buildings who have handicap permits. Elrod said they had been parking all day in the marked public spaces, but were given reserved spaces instead when the lot was resurfaced and striped.