County hosting SPLOST input meeting Tuesday

JONESBORO — Clayton County residents will get a chance to sound off about the proposed 2015 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Tuesday in the first of a series of public input meetings.

The meeting to discuss proposed SPLOST projects will take place at 5:30 p.m., before the county commission meeting at the Clayton County Board of Commissioners Building, 112 Smith St., in Jonesboro. The county and its six cities are expected to agree to a six-year, $272.2 million SPLOST proposal that will go before voters for approval in May.

The SPLOST money would be divided by population within the county limits. That breakdown would be $214.4 million for county projects, $19.4 million for Forest Park, $15.8 million for Riverdale, $6.7 million apiece for Morrow and Lovejoy, $4.9 million for Jonesboro, $2.7 million for Lake City and $1.3 million for College Park.

County officials are in the process of whittling down their list of projects for the SPLOST, but a citizens committee recently went through the list and ranked projects based on whether they felt they were high, medium or low priorities.

Among the high priorities outlined by the committee are:

• A $36.1 million administration building

• A $35 million civic arena

• $35 million in new sidewalks

• $24 million to modern the county’s public safety and public service fleets

• $16.5 million for new libraries

• $13 million for planning software

• $11 million for new county police buildings

• $10.5 million for a transportation and development department building

• $7 million for a technology center

• $6 million to replace fire department vehicles

• $4.7 million for park improvements

• $4.1 million for a new police helicopter

• $2 million for roadway landscaping

• $500,000 for new EMS cardiac monitors

• $286,000 for new building maintenance vehicles

• $286,000 for new corrections and refuse control vehicles

• $202,604.90 for new corrections refuse control equipment

• $38,400 for protective vests for corrections staff at the county prison

• $30,000 for a car for the county’s TV station staff

• $850 for prison and refuse control uniforms.

The county has created a website, claytonsplost.com, to explain SPLOSTs and to share the citizens committee’s recommendations and presentations. Subsequent public input meetings will be held Jan. 14, at 11:30 a.m., for senior citizens at the Frank Bailey Senior Center, 6213 Riverdale Road, in Riverdale, and Jan. 21 at the commissioners building at 5:30 p.m.