FUNDING: Gwinnett County (Ga.) pulls future spending money on roads, bridges to serve immediate needs

Declining tax revenue leaves officials little choice but to act in the now

Funding News Atlanta Journal-Constitution January 16, 2013
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Gwinnett County’s (Ga.) special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) has a more immediate purpose in an attempt to maintain local roads and bridges. County commissioners unanimously approved a move on Jan. 15 to shift $9.2 million in SPLOST funds, generated by a 1-cent sales tax on most retail sales, to fixing pavement, piers and bridge decks.


SPLOST money is supposed to be used for more long-range transportation planning, but due to declining revenues officials had no choice but to move the money over for quick fixes.


According to Gwinnett County Transportation Director Kim Conroy, SPLOST revenues are off about $30 million overall. Of the $9.2 million being pulled, $1.7 million is leftover cash from the 2005 SPLOST, with the remaining coming from the 2009 fund.


“Rather than putting more money on the shelf, it made sense to take care of current needs,” Conroy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We have a lot of current needs.”


A bulk of the money ($4.5 million) will be used to improve 10 intersections and five major roads, while another $1.4 million will be spent on the Walther Boulevard bridge.


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