Advance voting begins

Advance voting week for the SPLOST referendum begins today at three locations in Augusta.


All voters are required to show one of six forms of identification, including a Georgia identification card or driver's license, when they vote.

Advance voting ends Friday, and the citywide special election is June 16.

Voting will be conducted between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. this week at the Board of Elections, 530 Greene St.; Henry Brigham Recreation Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road; and Warren Road Recreation Center, 300 Warren Road.

Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey has said she expects voter turnout to be about 15 percent. The election will cost the city $83,290, which the Augusta Commission approved Tuesday.

For more information, call (706) 821-2340 or visit

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or


View a sample ballot for this month's special election, in which voters will decide the SPLOST issue.


Of the money to be raised by extending the 1-cent sales tax, 67 percent would go toward infrastructure. The sales tax list also includes:

- $18 million for Municipal Building renovations

- $17 million to replace police vehicles and fire trucks

- $10.9 million for parks and recreation

- $10 million to pay off debt from money fronted to the Medical College of Georgia to buy Gilbert Manor public housing project

- $5.7 million for Hephzibah and Blythe

- $5.1 million toward the Augusta Symphony's restoration of the Miller Theatre

- $4 million to dredge Lake Olmstead

- $3.5 million to create a lake near Regency Mall, part of a strategy to spur redevelopment there

- $2.5 million for Paine College's Health Education Activities Learning Complex

SPLOST package grand total: $184,724,000

Infrastructure projects ($124,055,000)

Augusta Regional AirportEastside Access Economic Development Program - Element 18,500,000
Daniel Field AirportAirport Terminal Renovation2,000,000
Total: $10,500,000
"Augusta projects"
Webster Detention Center 18,000,000
Sheriff Administration Building 6,000,000
Total: $24,000,000
Fire department
Training Center Infrastructure 2,000,000
Total: $2,000,000
Traffic Sign Upgrade Program 300,000
Lake Olmstead Dredging 4,000,000
Martin Luther King Drive 1,250,000
Garden City Beautification Initiative 500,000
Rocky Creek Drainage Plan / Regency Mall 3,500,000
Total: $35,675,000
Maxwell Branch Library 900,000
Friedman Branch Library 600,000
Total: $1,500,000
Augusta-Richmond County authorities
Downtown Development Authority 1,200,000
Development Authority of Richmond County 1,200,000
Augusta Canal Authority 4,170,000
Total: $6,570,000
Public Services
Public Services Municipal Building Renovations18,000,000
Public Services Grading and Drainage4,500,000
Public Services Green Space - CSR Land Trust500,000
Public Services Suburban Forces-Resurfacing3,000,000
Public Services Tree Removal, Pruning and Replacement1,000,000
Public Services Sidewalks-Rehab-Replacement1,000,000
Public Services Curb Cuts and Sidewalks500,000
Public Services Resurfacing - Contracts3,000,000
Public Services General Bridge Rehab and Maintenance3,000,000
Total: $34,500,000
Traffic engineering
I-20 Eastbound/Riverwatch Ramp 1,100,000
Walton Way Signal Phase 2 and Streetlight Upgrade 800,000
Gordon Highway Lighting Upgrade 1,500,000
Reynolds Street Signal Improvements 575,000
Signal Upgrades 1,250,000
15th Street Pedestrian Improvements 800,000
Intersection Safety and Operational Initiative 2,550,000
Total: 8,575,000
South Augusta Transit Center 190,000
Renovation Augusta Public Transit Facilities 125,000
Transit Vehicle Purchase 420,000
Total: $735,000
Infrastructure Total: $124,055,000

Non-infrastructure ($60,669,000)

"Augusta projects"
MCG-Gilbert Manor Debt 10,000,000
Project Management 2,000,000
Total: $12,000,000
Fire department
Emergency Fleet Replacement 9,500,000
Total: $9,500,000
Public Safety Vehicles 7,500,000
Total: $7,500,000
New Headquarters Library 1,000,000
Total: $1,000,000
Outside agencies
Historic Augusta, Inc.Wilson & Lamar Historic Sites125,000
The Augusta SymphonyThe Augusta Theatre District Project5,283,600
The Augusta SymphonyAugusta Mini Theatre716,400
Pendleton King Park FoundationPendleton King Park Connectivity Improvements200,000
Delta House Inc.Lucy Laney Craft Museum of Black History600,000
Augusta Museum of HistoryAugusta Museum of History600,000
Jessye Norman School of ArtsHandicap Access Project95,000
Imperial TheatreTheatre Improvements1,000,000
Boys and Girls ClubE.W. Hagler Club Renovations500,000
Augusta Urban MinistriesRoof Replacement175,000
Paine CollegeHealth Education Activates Learning Complex2,500,000
Golden Harvest Food BankNew Building250,000
Total: $12,045,000
Capital Equipment 150,000
Existing Structural Improvement Fund 950,000
Augusta Common 100,000
Dyess Park 800,000
Lake Olmstead 600,000
May Park 150,000
Old Government House 200,000
The Boathouse 450,000
Elliott Park 100,000
Fleming Park 250,000
Fleming Tennis Center 600,000
Augusta Soccer Complex 150,000
Diamond Lakes Regional 1,350,000
McDuffie Woods 200,000
Augusta Golf Course 300,000
H. H. Brigham 250,000
Valley Park 250,000
Wood Park 50,000
Butler Creek & Hwy 56 500,000
Brookfield 100,000
Eisenhower 100,000
Warren Road 150,000
Blythe Community 500,000
Jamestown Community 200,000
Augusta Marinas 50,000
Lake Olmstead Stadium 100,000
4-H Camp 50,000
Community Wide Tennis Court Resurfacing 150,000
Community Wide Swimming Pool Renovations 900,000
Recreation Planning - Master Plan 200,000
Administration 1,000,000
Total: $10,900,000
Intergovernmental allocations
City of Hephzibah 4,424,000
City of Blythe 1,300,000
Total: $5,724,000
Information technology
Network Assessment Remediation 250,000
Redundant Fiber Ring 250,000
Digital Orthophotography 500,000
Software Application Consolidation 1,000,000
Total: $2,000,000
Non-infrastructure Total: $60,669,000


The Chronicle will hold an online debate from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. today, moderated by government reporter and columnist Johnny Edwards.

Representing the "no" crowd will be Rocky Eades, the chairman of the Libertarian Party of the CSRA.

Representing the pro side will be Helen Blocker-Adams, a former mayoral candidate and the host of People and Issues With Helen on WNRR-AM (1230).

The debate will unfold on our Web site in a live chat format. To follow along or take part, click here.