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New Fayette 1-cent SPLOST idea surfaces, sinks fast

Forget about another SPLOST anytime soon, most local officials say. The quarterly meeting of the Association of Fayette County Governments (AFCG) came in at less than an hour and included brief agenda items on a 1-cent sales tax, the search for a new school superintendent, the county transportation plan and the county’s response to the recent Google broadband project.

Held April 21 at the Fayetteville Depot, the gathering gave elected officials from across the county the opportunity to discuss a number of recent issues with their peers. Nearly all the 31 in attendance hold elected office.

The meeting came in at less than an hour and included brief agenda items on a 1-cent sales tax, the search for a new school superintendent, the county transportation plan and the county’s response to the recent Google broadband project.

First up was a discussion on the need for a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) to follow the the one defeated by voters in November 2009. Among the comments of the topic were those by Tyrone Town Manager Richard Newbern and Mayor Don Rehwaldt, both of whom indicated that they believed there would be little support for such a measure among Tyrone voters.

County Commissioner Herb Frady and Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele agreed. Frady noted, “The public was not too interested last time,” with Steele adding, “I think it would be futile to go for it.”

“Only Peachtree City and perhaps the county need a 1-cent,” said Fayetteville Councilman Al Hovey-King. “I don’t think it would fare well (with voters) at all.”

Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix, on hearing the discussion, said his city wants the initiative but the AFCG group had provided a message he could carry back to Peachtree City.

Next up was a report on the search for a new superintendent for the Fayette County School System. School Board Chairman Terri Smith reviewed aspects of the online survey conducted by the school system and the selection process being spearheaded by the Georgia School Boards Association.

BOE member Janet Smola said the community survey noted that 98 percent of respondents wanted the new superintendent to be like retiring Superintendent John DeCotis while 2 percent wanted the opposite.

Fayette County Commission Chairman Jack Smith next reviewed that county’s long-term transportation plan that is now being finalized. Smith said plan consultants will soon present the the findings to the various elected bodies for a review and a vote to support the plan or recommend changes to it.

The meeting’s final agenda item pertained to the bid by Fayette County to become a Google broadband community. Steele noted that the selection of Fayette is not likely given the large number of communities vying for the project.

But Smith said the county is looking into other processes or procedures that might lead to connectivity within the county. County Administrator Jack Krakeel has been charged with the responsibility of researching the potential for broadband connectivity.

Krakeel said the county might benefit from assembling a local task force, perhaps in conjunction with the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, in the coming months to determine a method of approach and a means to tap into federal dollars that are available.

Also at the meeting, Commissioner Herb Frady was elected chairman and outgoing Chairman Larry Dell was elected vice-chair.



grassroots's picture

Good news about SPLOST. Was there any proactive ideas about helping these empty business locations? I hope so. Small business tax relief on the property would help lower lease agreements and move in businesses that EMPLOYEE people.

An average store front of say 3000 sf would pay about 1.5% of it's value in property taxes.

That amount, say, reduced by 20% by the County and the owner to the renter, might amount to a very few hundred dollars per YEAR reduction for the renter---hardly enough to save them, but highly detrimental to the City or county!

Anyway most property owners have already reduced rent due to poor sales. Also empty spaces in a center reduces the rent for the owner and for the renter.

There are simply too many retail places.

And, most retailers operate on borrowed money. There is none to borrow for them right now! Same for Developers.

Jobs will create more spending which will create more sales.

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