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SPLOST work session scheduled Monday

Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 9:53 PM
Last updated Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 1:20 AM
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 The Augusta Commission has a Monday work session set to review more requests from outside agencies seeking part of the city’s next 1 percent sales tax allocation.

Starting at 10:30 a.m., commissioners will hear from the Development Authority of Richmond County about its request for $3 million for a corporate park access road and $850,000 in industrial infrastructure, followed by Augusta Canal Authority’s $5.15 million request for funds to improve Augusta Canal.

Also invited to the session is Augusta’s Downtown Development Authority, which is seeking $5.6 million for “Augusta Commons Phase 2” and $3 million for a business incubator.

Augusta Regional Collaborative, a group founded by Mayor Deke Copenhaver and headed by Matt Kwatinetz, will detail its request for $11.959 million in sales tax funds to convert two historic textile mills into space for Georgia Regents University.

Also Monday, the Greater Augusta Arts Council will detail some $16.4 million in requests to develop downtown studio and artist space, create a public arts master plan and implement the master plan.

With collections at about $3 million a month, city officials have said they’ll have to cut some $741 million in total project requests to under $200 million. So far commissioners have held two work sessions with requesting groups and departments and have a fourth scheduled for Thursday.

Because it has already voted to borrow against future SPLOST collections for two projects, the commission is obligated to include $30 million for ongoing renovations at Augusta Municipal Building and $8 million in matching funds for GRU to build a cancer research center in the referendum scheduled to go before voters May 20.

The SPLOST session precedes five commission committee meetings and a called legal meeting which are set to begin at noon.

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Little Lamb
46016
Points
Little Lamb 02/21/14 - 11:28 pm
7
0
I'm Tired

How many times through the years have I pointed out the immorality of taking taxpayer money by force and giving it to frivolous projects such as the downtown studio and artist space, and the public arts master plan? I don't know how much longer I can carry the torch. Is there a younger person out there who can articulate proper governmental functions from graft and corruption?

GnipGnop
12234
Points
GnipGnop 02/21/14 - 11:30 pm
7
1
LL... sadly,

the voters in ARC don't realize or don't care that they are voluntarily paying extra taxes so Deke and company can have their little pet projects funded. It's pathetic.

dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 02/22/14 - 05:45 am
4
0
trash talk
Unpublished

Once again, the trash pick up is not done on time! I know the landfill will say something like it is an extraordinary amount of trash because of the ice storm, but they have even started on picking the debris from that storm. The truth of the matter is we have been scammed by the commissioners and leaders on this trash pick up deal. We lost a day of pickup and the taxes remained the same, thus doubling our cost and yet the trash pickup is not as good as it was under the old plan. Do your job or get out of the way and let someone else do it right. Is it too hard too put more trucks on the street and more workers and get this mess picked up and be done with it. If you can't do it with what you got, hire a private contractor to help. You can't even get the message straight on how you are picking up the limbs from the storm, first it was put all the limbs out on the curb and you would pick them up. Now, I was told, that they cant be over 10' long, well, after you have piled the limbs out for pickup it is too late to change your procedure. When you pay someone to clean up your debris and do what was initially said you can't go back and change that. Augusta needs to start holding those in charge of any department accountable for doing their job on time and doing it right!

story1
802
Points
story1 02/22/14 - 08:45 am
6
0
Vote "No"

If the commissioners/mayor put any outside agencies on the list to receive Splost dollars.

dsterling9
832
Points
dsterling9 02/22/14 - 09:10 am
7
0
OUTSIDE AGENCIES

Not sure why Deke thinks the citizens of ARC should pay, in part or whole, for anything associated with Georgia Regents University. There are many uses the textile mills could be put to including shopping areas. All these 'outside agencies' currently receiving funds from ARC should be audited and any use of these funds to pay salaries or perks for employees should be refunded to the city.

dichotomy
32920
Points
dichotomy 02/22/14 - 11:00 am
8
0
The fact that there are

The fact that there are requests for $741 million dollars just goes to show you how far this SPLOST debacle has gotten TOTALLY out of control. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is down there with their hand out for taxpayer money for NON-GOVERNMENTAL, PRIVATE INTEREST PROJECTS.

The first RULE for a SPLOST is that it should ONLY CONSIDER MAJOR GOVERNMENTAL PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS. All of the rest should be automatically REJECTED.

The obvious answer to this dilemma is to VOTE NO, TOTALLY REJECT this SPLOST and let them come back again in the fall with ONLY THINGS WE ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE.

And that list of things we must have DOES NOT include rehabbing the mills for GRU or anyone else. It does not include symphonies, museums, flop houses for artists, theaters, or any other PRIVATE organization. It does not include tacky murals painted on the sides of buildings and bridges that look about as good as graffiti sprayed on the sides of buildings and walls. THESE ARE NOT THINGS ON WHICH OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD SPEND OUR TAX MONEY.

If you take MY tax money I want to see brick and mortar....asphalt and concrete......some tangible governmental improvement that benefits the entire county. I do not wish to finance small, special interest groups of wealthy people who view themselves as the social elite and who think the taxpayers need to finance their evening entertainment.

Get REAL with your list of projects and we will get REAL with our vote. Until then, VOTE NO ON SPLOST.

Little Lamb
46016
Points
Little Lamb 02/22/14 - 11:42 am
6
0
Daytime

The regular commission meetings are held in the daytime. The regular committee meetings are held in the daytime. And now these special meetings to put together the SPLOST projects list are being held in the daytime. They sometimes have meetings two or three days a week.

This sets up a commission where a regular working stiff need not apply, because he would miss too much work if he went to all the meetings.

The Richmond County School Board trustees hold their meetings at night. The Columbia County Commission holds its meetings at night. It is time for Richmond County Commission begin to hold its committee meetings and commission meetings at night.

bubbasauce
20689
Points
bubbasauce 02/23/14 - 09:07 pm
3
0
Just vote NO on all this

Just vote NO on all this nonsense! It is amazing all the hands that come out when they can get something for nothing. Vote no Augusta, quit raising your own taxes for these yahoos to give away!

bubbasauce
20689
Points
bubbasauce 02/23/14 - 09:08 pm
3
0
Dichotomy said all that needs

Dichotomy said all that needs to be said!

geecheeriverman
2426
Points
geecheeriverman 02/24/14 - 06:30 am
3
0
Cover up the parking spaces

Money needs to be spent to cover up the downtown underground parking spaces. Raise them back to street level and have parking on curb side and alternate pull in parking in middle on either side from 7th to 11th street. Another thought: The Canal Authority needs an audit. How much more money will we throw into the augusta canal?

Junket103
452
Points
Junket103 02/24/14 - 08:22 am
3
0
Thumbs Up Dichotomy

I believe Dichotomy's comment above pretty much sums up the reaction of many AC readers. Well said.

nocnoc
42557
Points
nocnoc 02/24/14 - 09:13 am
3
0
I strongly recommend Voting NO, unless

the SPLOST is used equally across ARC, used ONLY for Infrastructure projects like, Community Road repairs, Lighting, Sewer and Drainage expansion and repairs, GARBAGE PICKUP and etc.) and 1/4 for the South Side.

Because remember they STILL want a RAIN TAX added to the Property Bills.

dsterling9
832
Points
dsterling9 02/24/14 - 09:54 am
3
0
FEES

With all the money collected no person in ARC should have to pay residential tap fees to connect to storm/sewage lines. Get this passed and return any fees already paid!

Riverman1
83902
Points
Riverman1 02/24/14 - 10:16 am
3
0
Insanity

How in the world can you take $11.959 million and give it to Matt Kwatinetz so he can play around unsupervised trying to get GRU to accept the mills property? Insanity.

Riverman1
83902
Points
Riverman1 02/24/14 - 10:20 am
3
0
Demographics Support Tax

The problem with our concern is that, as with the last SPLOST, it's going to pass. The demographics of the county support taxes of all kinds. Does one person believe the usual Democratic, liberal supporting factions in Richmond County will oppose the SPLOST with these give-aways? Every church will be saying, "Vote Yes."

soitgoes
786
Points
soitgoes 02/24/14 - 11:31 am
4
0
Time to END SPLOST

It has become nothing more than a big swine trough of special interests all with their hands (and snouts) out. END SPLOST NOW.

nocnoc
42557
Points
nocnoc 02/24/14 - 05:48 pm
2
0
Will the Last Taxpayer

close the door and turn out the lights.

----------------------------

HOW IT WORKS IN REAL LIFE

Local Governments increase the cost of living to its residents.

Once they reach a certain cost to services level, local businesses & Property Owners can no longer justify the expensive location.

As businesses and homeowners sell properties, this drives the Taxable Property Values down, due a steady high number of available properties on the market. This lowers the Taxable Property Values further.

Once this certain point is reached and passed, Businesses and Homeowners will speed up relocation to other nearby areas with lower operation and living costs. Leaving vacated properties behind that cannot be sold to break even or at an acceptable marginal loss.

At this point the Local Governments then lack the ability diminishes in collecting enough fee's for common services.

This leads Local Government to enact creative increases or retaxing already covered services under new names.

As the increase cycle repeats, it now causes an exponential increase in Businesses and Homeowners moving or relocating as the local governments increase costs with each new cycle and service are reduced.

Eventually placing the Local Government in possible Bankruptcy due to outstanding obligations it cannot meet.

Does this sound like what we are going through?

TrulyWorried
14213
Points
TrulyWorried 02/24/14 - 05:45 pm
3
0
What can be done

to make all taxpayers understand that their money will be used as the commission wants, not what really needs to be done - they will do as they please and we the taxpayers should all vote a big fat NO!!!

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