Gwinnett County residents will have the opportunity to vote on a new three-year SPLOST on November 5, 2013. The SPLOST, with a primary focus on transportation, was approved unanimously last Tuesday by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners.
If the SPLOST is victorious at the polls, it would take the place of the current SPLOST, which expires on March 31, 2014; the potential new SPLOST would expire in March 2017. The new program will potentially raise a maximum of $489 million. Gwinnett County would receive 78.9%, with 21% slated to be distributed among the 16 cities within the county. Gwinnett County has also agreed to reserve $25 million for joint projects with the cities.
Several mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that SPLOST funds are being handled correctly and responsibly. According to Gwinnett County Director of Transportation Kim Conroy, “we are forming a Citizens Project Selection Committee (CPSC) to help us determine the specific County transportation projects that will be funded by the proposed SPLOST…We are looking for involved, concerned people to provide constructive guidance on key issues such as school safety, intersection improvements, sidewalks, and other roadway improvements.”
A meeting will be held August 26, 2013 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, where Gwinnett residents will be able to self-select committee members and alternates to represent six major interest groups. As Director Conroy explains, “The committee’s immediate role will be to review and prioritize the prospective transportation project categories and to share information with the constituent interest groups. The committee will help maintain open lines of communication between the County and the public and help maximize the benefits of the sales tax proceeds.”
Gwinnett County has continually proven itself a responsible and successful manager of SPLOST funds and the Council for Quality Growth urges its members to support the renewal of the Gwinnett County SPLOST this November.