Fayette Commission to get TSPLOST sales pitch
Eyes old jail repairs, spending $3.5 million finishing out Justice Center’s 3rd floor
At its workshop meeting this afternoon (April 4), the Fayette County Commission will hear a presentation from the Atlanta Regional Commission about the upcoming referendum for a regional transportation sales tax.
A little more than half of the $6.1 billion raised by the tax, if approved by voters, will go toward mass transit projects while the remainder will be used for road projects.
The meeting, which begins at 3:30 p.m. at the county’s Stonewall government complex, is open to the public.
If the tax is approved, Fayette County is expected to contribute about $190 million in taxes over the 10-year collection period in the 10 metro Atlanta counties.
In return, Fayette is tabbed to receive $187 in highway improvements in the county, not including a significant upgrade to the interchange of I-85 and Ga. Highway 74, which is in Fulton County but is used by west Fayette commuters heading into Atlanta.
Included in that $187 million in projects is some $43 million that would be provided to the cities and the county for non-regional transportation projects of their own choosing.
In other business, the commission will hear a presentation on the need to repair the “old jail” at the sheriff’s office that was abandoned when the new jail was opened several years ago.
The repairs are necessary so the old facility can be used for inmate housing while the county conducts mold repairs to the new jail, when overcrowding becomes a problem and if a need arises to close off a section of the current jail, according to a memo from jail director Maj. Charles Cowart.
It will cost from $855,000 to $1.25 million to conduct the necessary repairs, the county’s consulting engineering firm has determined. And once the old jail is reopened, the sheriff’s department will need 10 additional jail officers along with additional maintenance and upkeep costs, Cowart noted in the memo.
Cowart also suggested that the commission could decide to add new units to the new jail or house inmates at other facilities, which also would come with a cost.
The commission is also slated to discuss finishing the third floor of the county’s justice center using savings from a refinancing of the bonds used to originally construct the facility and the expansion of the Fayette County Jail.
One of the potential decisions the commission faces is whether to reserve the third floor for court needs or to use the space for county administrative offices.
It will cost the county an estimated $3.5 million to finish the third floor.