0

Clayton County may build new admin building with 2015 SPLOST funds

County and its cities requesting several big projects

Demont Davis, right, and Ron Dodson, center, talk to a fellow member of the Clayton County SPLOST Citizens Review Committee during a break at its meeting Monday. Davis is the committee’s chairman. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

Demont Davis, right, and Ron Dodson, center, talk to a fellow member of the Clayton County SPLOST Citizens Review Committee during a break at its meeting Monday. Davis is the committee’s chairman. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

JONESBORO — Clayton County leaders could move out of their digs on Smith Street in Jonesboro if they get their way with the proposed 2015 special purpose local option sales tax.

Government leaders are requesting the citizens committee reviewing proposed projects for the SPLOST include a $36.2 million county administration center on the final project list. It is one of several new facilities the county and its cities want to build with monies from the tax that will go before voters in May for approval.

“We have not identified the land yet, but the administration center would have board of commissioners offices, central services which include purchasing and risk management, communications including our television station, finance, human resources and legal (departments),” said Chief Operations Officer Arrelle Anderson.

The SPLOST citizens review committee heard presentations from the cities and the county during a meeting Monday However, they are not expected to discuss and debate what should go on the project list to be submitted to commissioners for approval until 5 p.m. Dec. 9 at the commissioners building, 112 Smith St.

Anderson said it has not been decided whether the SPLOST will last five years or six years. If it lasts five years, it is expected to bring in $226.6 million, she said. However, Anderson added it will bring in $272.3 million if it lasts six years.

County documents show the money would be split based on 2010 census population figures.

The documents show the county would get 78.7 percent of the revenue while the remaining shares would be 7.12 percent for Forest Park, 5.83 percent for Riverdale, 2.48 percent each for Lovejoy and Morrow, 1.82 percent for Jonesboro, 1.01 percent for Lake City and 0.49 percent for College Park.

In addition to the county administration building, county officials are asking for funding for a number of other projects, including $11 million to build three new police department facilities to be used for storage, a sector 4 precinct and code enforcement.

There is also a $16.5 million request for two new libraries, including one for the Rex area and another that would replace the existing headquarters and Jonesboro branches.

Other county facilities requests include:

• A civic arena on par with the Gwinnett Arena ($35 million)

• A transportation and development building ($10.5 million)

• A Kinship Care Resource Center ($7.5 million)

• A technology center ($7 million)

• An elections and registration building ($5.2 million)

• An economic development and business incubator center ($5 million)

• A special events center at Clayton County International Park ($800,000)

• Community dog parks ($250,000)

The cities are also seeking several new facilities of their own, including $13.5 million for new fire stations in Riverdale as well as $3 million for phase two of its Riverdale Park, a $3.8 million Jonesboro municipal complex and a $500,000 city green near Broad Street, a multipurpose facility with an unspecified price tag for Lovejoy, a $200,000 indoor shooting range for Morrow and a $6 million power department operations center for College Park.

A request list for Lake City was not immediately available.

There are several other projects in the areas of technology, vehicles and transportation. The county is requesting $12 million for equipment, such as buses, to operate a transit system while Morrow is seeking $25,000 for its own transit system.

Other requests include:

• $69 million request for road widenings

• A $46 million request from College Park for a commuter rail line connecting it to Lovejoy

• $35 million for sidewalks in unincorporated areas of the county

• $1.7 million for sidewalks in Jonesboro

• $1.2 million to put sidewalks along 25 percent of Riverdale’s streets

• $1 million for Jonesboro’s Streetscape Phase III

• $400,000 for “Welcome to Clayton County” signs

• $300,000 for a full TV studio for the county’s Channel 23 cable station

• Several public safety vehicle requests for virtually every city as well as the county

• Unspecified dollar amounts for sidewalks in Lovejoy, as well as land acquisition for a city recreation center

After the review committee whittles down a project list, it will go to the Clayton County Board of Commissioners for approval. The commissioners are expected to vote on approval of that list during its Dec. 17 business meeting.