Speakers Make Pitch For Projects At SPLOST Forum

Speaker Robin Stevens, 1311 Skipstone Drive, outside Watkinsville
Speaker Robin Stevens, 1311 Skipstone Drive, outside Watkinsville
Twenty-two speakers last night made their pitches to the Oconee County Board of Commissioners, arguing that the projects they favored should be funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax scheduled to be on the May 20 ballot.

Many of those who spoke advocated for more than one project, with 11 speaking up for farmland protection, seven for funding for recreation projects, and five each for monies for the libraries and for historic preservation.

The counts underestimate the support in the audience for the recreation projects and, to a lesser extent, the libraries. Speakers on these topics got significant applause from the audience.

Parks and Recreation Department Director John Gentry emphasized the broad support for the $5.5 million request he put forward, saying it represented input from surveys of and multiple discussions with a large number of residents.

Coroner Ed Carson made the case for his request for $55,000 for a modified transport van he said he needs to provide services to the county.

Rick Waller, chairman of the county’s Industrial Development Authority, said he knew the Commissioners had a difficult task in deciding among all of the requests and the IDA, which asked for $4.7 million, would be happy with “whatever our share is” of the money allocated.

For the full story, with video clips, go to Oconee County Observations

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