Citizens Briefed on SPLOST Spending
Officials discuss progress of sales tax funded projects.
County and city officials met at Fire Station 18 in Hoschton to discuss how Gwinnett County special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) dollars are being spent.
Rhonda Etheridge, deputy director of financial services for Gwinnett County, presented an overview of what SPLOST is meant to accomplish and what the county has done with the money. Etheridge noted part of the money has funded multiple Gwinnett County fire stations, including Station 18.
SPLOST proceeds have also funded numerous projects at county recreational facilites. Rhodes Jordan Park in Lawrenceville is undergoing renovations, as is Ivy Creek Greenway in Buford. Etheridge said SPLOST funds were also used to alleviate congestion on Collins Hill Road that resulted from the construction of Georgia Gwinnett College. The county used SPLOST money to create an additional entrance at the back of the school to relieve traffic in the area.
“We’ve done a lot to make sales tax work,” Etheridge said. Since 1985, $2.2 billion dollars in SPLOST proceeds have been used for capital infrastructure.
Jere Jordan, division director of Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services detailed how SPLOST has helped the fire department in assisting the county’s residents.
“Our mission is to save lives and protect property,” Jordan said.
Jordan said SPLOST funds make that mission easier by allowing stations to be built in locations that will better serve the community and that will reduce travel time from the station to destinations in the community.
Representatives from a selection of Gwinnett County’s towns and cities also discussed what their respective governments have accomplished with SPLOST money. Parks and recreational facilities were widely acknowledged, as well as multiple administrative buildings throughout Gwinnett.
The City of Dacula was not represented at the meeting, but it was noted that in 2009, the city spent $403,843 on administrative facilities, $39,709 on public safety facilities and equipment, $23,653 on recreational facilities and $8,800 on water and sewer capital improvements.
The next semi-annual SPLOST review meeting is scheduled for Friday Oct. 28. A location has not yet been announced.