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SPLOST ‘wish list’ at $170 million; Floyd commissioners also award service pins to long-time employees

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Floyd County Manager Jamie McCord said Tuesday that an estimated $170 million worth of proposed projects would go before the SPLOST Citizens Advisory Committee for vetting.

The nearly 60 applications came from local citizens and organizations, as well as from the county government, Rome and Cave Spring, McCord told county commissioners at their bimonthly caucus.

“Everybody needs to remember, this is just a wish list,” Commission Chair Rhonda Wallace said. “This is just the beginning.”

A 5-year special purpose, local option sales tax — the maximum allowed by state law — is projected to raise about $61.7 million, so more than half the requests will end up being rejected.

The citizens committee will hear the first eight presentations Thursday, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The meeting, at the Forum River Center, 301 Tribune St., is open to the public.

Plans are to have a proposed package narrowed down by Aug. 1, and to present it to voters in the Nov. 7 elections. If approved, the collection would start when the 2013 SPLOST ends on March 31, 2019.

Also on Tuesday, commissioners recognized 39 long-time employees, awarding pins for service ranging from 42 years — Police Chief Bill Shiflett — to 15 years.

County Clerk Erin Elrod said the awards haven’t been made since 2009 and about 400 were overdue. The ceremonies will be held quarterly until they’re caught up, then revert to annually.

“This is a good way for us to see a lot of employees we don’t get to see,” Wallace noted.

Wallace also released a list of 10 positions on citizen boards that will start new terms this year. Anyone interested in serving may apply online at RomeFloydCounty.com.

Commissioners also heard that no transfer from savings was needed to cover 2016 expenses.

Finance Director Susie Gass said outside auditors are expected to have a final report before the end of the month.

“We were initially projected to use $2.2 million of the fund balance, but the budget is now balanced,” Gass said after the board approved some “clean-up” line-item shifts and adjustments.

“The audit may even show we have added to the fund balance,” she added.

McCord said they expected to collect about 92 percent of the taxes owed but ended up with a 97-percent payment rate. More than $700,000 owed from previous years also was recouped.

Floyd County Employee Service Awards

At least 40 Years

Chief Bill Shiflett, police, 42 years

At least 35 Years

David Reeps, police, 38 years

Lisa Hawkins, prison, 37 years

At least 30 Years

Steven Pruitt, public works, 33 years

Charlie Walker, water, 33 years

Tammy Bryant, parks and recreation, 32 years

Dewayne Weeks, public works, 31 years

Gary Conway, police, 30 years

At least 25 Years

James Brown, tax assessors, 29 years

Terry Nolan, district attorney’s office, 29 years

Tommy Gentry, public works, 29 years

Christopher Shelly, police, 27 years

Margaret Freeman, tax assessors, 27 years

Tracy Hardy, human resources, 26 years

At least 20 Years

Richard Argo, sheriff’s office, 24 years

Timothy Little, juvenile court, 23 years

Jeff Jones, police, 23 years

Tony Nelson, public works, 23 years

William Hamilton, public works, 23 years

John Blalock, 911, 21 years

Kevin Brown, MIS, 21 years

Gary Davis, facilities management, 20 years

At least 15 Years

Kay Ann Wetherington, district attorney’s office, 19 years

Lorraine Sellers, district attorney’s office, 19 years

Oneida Moreno, sheriff’s office, 19

Norma Childers, MIS, 19 years

Donna Maldonado, elections, 19 years

Michael Long, prison, 18 years

Lynn Little, tax commissioner’s office, 18 years

Dennis Alexander, water, 18 years

Brandy Starcher, 911, 17 years

Brian Dempsey, public works, 16 years

Keelan Freeman, animal control, 16 years

Linda Harris, administration, 16 years

Michael Walters, water, 16 years

Kenneth Hinkley, police, 15 years

David Jones, facilities, 15 years

Natalee Staats, district attorney’s office, 15 years

Danny Womack, tax assessors, 15 years

Source: Floyd County Clerk’s Office