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Sports complex added to SPLOST

ALBANY, Ga. -- Albany City Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement between them and the Dougherty County Commission on a list of special local sales tax projects which incorporates funding for a new multi-sport recreational complex.

Listed under "recreational improvements," the $2.6 million project will be developed and engineered if the sales tax referendum passes, city officials say, but for now, the city is still researching possible building plans and sites for the facility.

The project could get a boost from the county, according to Dougherty County Chairman Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard, who says that there are talks with city officials about linking the city's sports complex with a tennis center and program that was initially approved by voters in SPLOST IV.

"These types of centers are typically big draws for communities," Sinyard said. "And it looks as though we have the potential to have a real top-notch facility; a mega-complex, if we can incorporate a tennis center and program there."

City officials agree, saying a sports complex for little-league and pony-league baseball could attract tournaments that are now headed to Dothan, Ala., and Panama City, Fla.

"There is a market out there for these types of tournaments," Ward 5 Commissioner Bob Langstaff said, following Tuesday's meeting.

To fund the complex, the city would pull a line item in the SPLOST list that was originally allocated to buy and develop a new landfill. Instead, it appears that the city will truck the items they were going to put into that inert landfill to the Dougherty County landfill.