Valdosta approves T-SPLOST funding

Posted at 6:34 PM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 14:45:11-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Several transportation projects in Valdosta will be added to the to-do list starting Oct. 1, after a majority vote last week approved T-SPLOST funding.

Last week, voters approved the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax better known as T-SPLOST.

But since approved, Mayor John Gayle says the city and county are expecting to bring in $165 million over the course of ten years, to go toward some much needed transportation projects.

"Lowndes County and Valdosta beginning Oct. 1, will have a one cent increase in sales tax, will go from seven to eight cents on the dollar," said Gayle.

T-SPLOST can only be use for transportation projects over the next ten years.

"Lowndes County submitted our projects of which we received the vast majority of those, people realized that we were the largest county, and that we needed more of the projects that we requested," said Gayle.

The first project will take place at the Valdosta Regional Airport.

"That tower was built in 1948. It's way out of date, its too close to the runway, planes are too big now," said Gayle. "They have to zig-zag around sometimes, so that's the first project that will be done."

Other projects will include intersection improvements. St. Augustine Road and Norman Drive, St. Augustine Road and Gornto, and Baytree and Gornto are just a few of the problematic roads that will be under the T-SPLOST funded projects.

If enough money is raised for all projects, the sales tax could end early.

"If we receive more funding at a faster pace than we anticipate, the tax will end, so it could end in eight or nine years if the economy continues to boom like it is right now," said Gayle.

Gayle says the two parties from 18 counties met every two weeks to decide the best projects to improve a variety of neighborhoods throughout the region.