Officials set SPLOST forums

ALBANY, Ga. -- Both city and county elected officials have called separate informational meetings to discuss the upcoming special-purpose local-option sales tax referendum.

The referendum will allow voters to decide whether or not to renew a 1 percent sales tax that is expected to generate around $97 million over the next six years.

Dougherty County Commissioner Gloria Gaines and John Hayes will have a joint meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 14 at 2nd Mt. Zion Baptist Church on Old Pretoria Road to discuss the matter.

Speaking briefly on the matter at Monday's commission meeting, Gaines informed the rest of the commission about the meeting and invited them to attend, saying that county staff would be attendance to explain the various projects on the referendum.

Thursday, Albany City Commissioner Roger Marietta said in an e-mail that he has planned to have a similar meeting at Darton College to go over projects and to field questions from the public about the SPLOST referendum.

That meeting will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 21 in room J133 at Darton. Marietta said city staff will be on hand to discuss specific projects on the proposed list.

SPLOST V is set to expire in March after spanning the last six years. If a majority of voters approve the November referendum, SPLOST VI will begin collections in April.

Projects on the proposed list range from replacement of the Broad Avenue Bridge and construction of a new airport terminal, to complete renovation and remodeling of the Dougherty County Library downtown and more than $2 million to the Thronateeska Heritage Museum for a building that would allow for the retention and digital conversion of local historic documents.