The Citizen Project Selection Committee has begun work on the selection of projects for the 2016 SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) proposal that will be on the November 8th ballot.
The first meeting of the volunteer Committee was held July 26th and consisted of organization and planning. The purpose of the Committee is to select and prioritize projects for the SPLOST and make recommendations to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.
The Committee members are all citizens who volunteered to serve. A large group of citizens volunteered and they themselves elected 3 members and 2 alternates from each District for a total of 20 members. Each County Commission District has equal representation on the Committee. No member of the Board of Commissioners or County staff are on the Committee.
It is the task of the Committee to look at the three major categories to be considered in the SPLOST referendum, to determine projects for each category, and to prioritize them, considering need and cost. The Board of Commissioners, after a series of 12 public input meetings and a recommendation from the first group of volunteer citizens, voted to issue a call for the SPLOST that would be designated as 51% transportation, 32% fire/EMS/public safety radio system, and 17% parks and recreation. The Committee will work within the confines of this structure – percentages and monies cannot be moved into different categories.
The Committee will hold a minimum of five additional meetings, each of which will have an emphasis, and for each of which the members will conduct advance research, as follows:
• Thursday, August 18, 6 p.m., parks and recreation
• Thursday, August 25, 6 p.m., transportation resurfacing, intersections and operations
• Thursday, September 1, 6 p.m., transportation economic development
• Thursday, September 8, 6 p.m., transportation sidewalk and roadway upgrades
• Thursday, September 15, 6 p.m., final project recommendations.
• An additional meeting may be held if necessary on Thursday, September 22, at 6 p.m.
All meetings will be held in the Board of Commissioners Conference Room, 3rd floor, Douglas County Courthouse, 8700 Hospital Drive, and are open to the Public. The meetings are being professionally facilitated. The Committee will not determine priorities for the fire/EMS/public safety radio system, since this category consists of regularly scheduled equipment purchases, replacements, station construction, and the radio system purchase and implementation.
In advance of the August 18th meeting with the emphasis on parks and recreation, Committee members are being asked to visit County parks and note dated aspects and deficiencies, and consider whether renovations or replacement would be the better option. Members are asked to visit the County property that is adjacent to Fire Station No. 1 in Lithia Springs for the possible location of a senior center, and if possible, visit some of Cobb County’s multi-purpose recreation centers.