Bibb County early voting begins in less than two weeks, and the November ballot includes a new SPLOST. The $280,000,000 SPLOST will start in April of 2018. The Bibb County SPLOST coordinator, Clay Murphey, showed 13WMAZ’s, Mary Grace Shaw, some of the sites of future SPLOST projects.
“When they get a call, they don’t have to worry about circling around. They can just pull right through to Heath Road,” says Murphey. Murphey says the new SPLOST will have funds to either rebuild or remodel four other Bibb fire stations to look like Bibb Fire Station 2930 that was built from the current SPLOST.
“You never know. You might get three hours of sleep, so you gotta rest when you can,” says Murphey. He says the fire stations will get bigger living spaces and commercial grade kitchens as a part of the $25,000,000 of SPLOST funds that will be set aside for public safety.
Murphey says another part of the SPLOST will complete the South Bibb Recreation Center.
“The second phase will be the finalization of baseball fields multipurpose fields and tennis courts,” says Murphey. He says there are several recreation centers and parks that started renovations in the current SPLOST, but the new SPLOST will provide over $43,000,000 of funds to go towards completing the second phase of these projects.
After taking a look at the South Bibb Recreation Center, Murphey took me to the City Auditorium. It is one of the projects included in the $37,000,000 cultural and public use facility SPLOST fund.
“We've got a copper dome roof, which they say is the largest copper dome roof in the country, that sweats on the inside,” says Murphey. That is one problem Murphey says will be addressed in the new SPLOST.
Macon business owner, Will Robinson, says he thinks the sales tax that goes toward the SPLOST will bring more people to the area and into his store.
“From what I have heard about the things being voted on for the SPLOST money, it seems like a great reinvestment into the community,” says Robinson.
“Encourages people to say, ‘hey look what’s going on here. Why don’t we go and check it out?’,” says Murphey.
Here is breakdown of the new SPLOST:
$43,500,000- Recreation facilities and parks/greenspaces
$20,000,000- Closure of Walker Road Sanitary Landfill and acquisition, construction, and equipping of alternative solid waste disposal facilities
$29,000,000- Acquisition of land and improvements to infrastructure for economic development to include Middle Georgia Regional Airport.
$37,000,000- Cultural and public use facilities
$25,000,000- Public safety
$40,000,000- Construction and equipping of courthouse addition to include parking and renovations/improvements to existing facilities and Juvenile Justice Center
$12,000,000- Blight remediation capital projects
$13,500,000- Retirement of previously incurred debt
$25,000,000- Storm water management and drainage improvements
Mary Grace Shaw, 13WMAZ