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Other Henry funds to help SPLOST projects

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henryherald.com

Henry County's approval of a request to shift money from one account to another means government dollars can be used in ways that have a greater impact, according to county officials.

The Henry County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution authorizing reimbursements to its Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) budget for eligible capital improvements. The vote came during Monday's commission meeting.

With SPLOST collections lower than anticipated, the transfer of funds from other accounts will help strecth the SPLOST funds, Assistant County Manager Michael Sabine indicated.

"This is a way to maximize recreation facilities for our citizens," Sabine said in a press release. "We are able to use existing tools to meet future needs."

Moving the money into the SPLOST budget, he said, will help needed park projects move forward, despite the fact that SPLOST revenues are less than projected.

The projects that are eligible to be helped in this way include: building a six-lane running track at Jonesboro Road Park in McDonough; an expansion of the soccer complex at Mount Carmel Park in Hampton; and additional baseball fields at area parks, an official said.

Mike Bush, financial services director for Henry County, said that, in 2008, the county collected approximately $29.5 million in SPLOST revenues. By comparison, said Bush, so far this year, the county has collected about $28.3 million in SPLOST revenues.

Sabine said the SPLOST III fund can now be reimbursed with $1.6 million from the Capital Outlay Fund; $197,270 from the Greenspace Impact Fees Account, and $150,000 from the Recreation Impact Fees Account.