County manager: SPLOST can’t be diverted from bypass

A topic that surfaced recently from Fayette County Commission candidates Steve Brown and Allen McCarty dealing with the West Fayetteville Bypass suggested that the project could be scrapped and the previously collected 1-cent sales tax revenues generated for the project be given to the municipalities to pay for their own transportation needs.

Brown cited a recent move in Walton County where the municipalities agreed to return a portion of their 1-cent (SPLOST) revenues, an amount totaling $1.2 million, to help offset a shortfall in the county’s debt service. So the question is, can Fayette County decide to scrap the West Fayetteville bypass and pass the collected funds on to the municipalities?

The answer to that question is “no,” according to Fayette County Administrator Jack Krakeel. Asked to clarify that answer, Krakeel cited issues that prohibit such an action.

Krakeel noted the 1992 Georgia Supreme Court ruling (Dickey v. Storey) in which the court said a governing authority, “... is bound by the SPLOST budget and account reports to complete all projects listed therein unless circumstances arise which dictate that projects which initially seemed feasible are no longer so. In this regard, the governing authority has discretion to make adjustments in the plans for these projects but may not abandon the projects altogether.”

“So you just can’t abandon a project,” Krakeel said. “You have to complete the projects identified in the SPLOST.”

Also pertaining to the SPLOST projects, Krakeel said the Fayette intergovernmental resolution signed by the county and the municipalities identified the SPLOST projects. Of those, 70 percent of 1-cent revenues were designated for countywide projects while 30 percent went for projects in the various municipalities and specific areas of unincorporated Fayette, such as the paving of 100 miles of roads.

Krakeel said the 70 percent/30 percent designation in the SPLOST resolution is significant and essentially prohibits the potential for actions such as giving countywide bypass project dollars to those assigned under the agreement to municipalities or specific unincorporated areas.

“We are bound by the resolution and the SPLOST referendum approved by the voters. You can’t arbitrarily give 70 percent dollars to 30 percent projects,” Krakeel said. “The language is specific on how SPLOST funds can be utilized. The board (of commissioners) is restricted in their ability to modify the project and constrained by the Supreme Court ruling.”

Krakeel also noted that the initial engineering work for the project began in 2006. Consequently, any move to alter the project would have, out of necessity, required action prior to the time the current board took office, said Krakeel.

Even in cases where the governing authority experiences a shortfall in revenue collections, the approved projects can be scaled back but not abandoned, according to the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG).

As for the East Fayetteville Bypass — on the SPLOST list but not being pursued at present — that project also requires federal funds, most of which are long range and not currently available, according to Fayette County Public Works Director Phil Mallon.

Just Asking
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GA Code Allows for Redirection of Funds

This is just BS. So now there's a magic number that, if passed, means you have to spend good money after bad? About that swamp land I have for sale...

DBarlow
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Why wait for July 20 to vote?

Please don't wait. Don't procrastinate. GO VOTE!! My wife and I have already voted for Commissioner Steve Brown, Commissioner Allen McCarty and BOE incumbent Dr. Bob Todd. Check out www.tbfaco.com for information about the candidates forums. Great stuff! Here's an idea, The only way we can lose is to quit. There is no quit with the "Take Back Fayette County" crowd. We're in the fight for what's right and we intend to see Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell defeated. Enthusiasm always motivates to action. No significant accomplishment has ever been made without enthusiasm. "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6 NIV. GOD BLESS AMERICA & GOD BLESS FAYETTE COUNTY!

Courthouserules
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DBarlow

Now wait a minute, I don't have a big argument with who you said you voted for early, but the TEA stuff: "take back," and involving God against such fine citizens as Eric, stretches my thinking!
Enthusiasm for God in Church---your business; in politics, I don't think He would want to be involved in that stuff! Wasn't that the New Covenant you quoted?
Lot of politics in the Old, none in the new!

Citizen Bob
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Billinfayeteville- not Novemebr; the ONLY vote is July 20th

Whoever wins the primary on July 20th for commissioners and school board will be unopposed on the November ballot- so you MUST vote in the primary to determine those contests

Billinfayetteville
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SPLOST Can't Be Diverted

It seems the County Manager is doing a great job of saying what his boss wants said...even if it is not the truth!

Good news, Jack and Eric. We, the voters, can and will divert you out of office this November!

pips1414
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ARC Says West Bypass Impractical Project

The Atlanta Regional Commission stated that the West Fayetteville Bypass is not feasible,and not worth the money it cost. The ARC funded the initial study. Yet, the commissioners would not accept ARC's findings and bulled the project through. The cost of acquiring the land would also make this project even more economically prohibitive. The project is not feasible, and under the Krakeel article, can therefore be scrapped. Note, also that the East Bypass was scrapped after $6 million went into it. It was not scaled down. Another distortion of the truth!

Commissioners Smith and Maxwell won't budge, even though the ARC considers the project wasteful. The Public Works Dept. said that ARC conducted a traffic study to justify the WFB. ARC says it did not.

Time for McCarty and Brown to get things back in the public interest. These developers are just too powerful for us to deal with any more.

Calling all voters! Smith & Maxwell gotta go!

ginga1414
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Save Fayette, ARC Document and $6 million typo

Save, the ARC document was obtained through a Georgia Open Records Act request, so I won't be able to send you a link. The title of the document is "Jurisdictional Briefings - Draft 2030 RTP and FY 2005-2010 TIP Project Lists." It would not be the same as being able to see the actual document, but if you would like for me to type it as a comment, I would be happy to do that for you. The pertinent portion of the document is as follows:

Jurisdictional Briefings
Draft 2030 TRP and FY 2005-2010 TIP Project Lists

3. For any high priority non-freeway roadway projects which were not funded in the TIP, explain why. For example, possible explanations could include: the project was not formally submitted, did not score well in the evaluation process, or could not be funded due to its cost or other regional equity issues.
1. East Bypass: Cost too much ($26 million). Adjusted to $7 million.
2. West Fypass: Did not score high enough/too expensive
3. SR 92 widening: Fayette/GDOT never formally submitted
4. SR 85 widening: Fayette/GDOT never formally submitted
5, Sandy Creek Rd. Extension: Low Evaluation Score

The figure of "$6 million" having been spent on the East Bypass was a typo. Please excuse the mistake. We are a little tired here and as our mistake was just a typo, the county has made a $600,000 mistake on the East Bypass and the county's West Bypass mistake looms much greater.

Save Fayette
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Show Me?

pips, I can not find the information that you are saying about the ARC. I can not find anything that says the ARC told Fayette Co. that the WFB is not feasible and not worth the money, can you show me.
As far as the East Bypass I can only find where the county has only spent
$600 thousand on a study, unable to find anything that shows $6million.
Pleae show us this information. I am tired of all the bad information.

DBarlow
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Captain Kangaroo goes to China

We've just learned that Jack Krakeel also traveled to China. I guess two Jacks are better than one. When I initially looked at the paper and saw Krakeel's picture, it took be back to the early days when we got our first TV. Captain Kangaroo was one of my childhood favorites. You put bushy sideburns on Krakeel's picture, and presto, Captain Kangaroo. Just saying. At least Captain Kangaroo was an excellent example of integrity. You could trust what he said and I never heard anything bad about him. Oh well. Time will tell.

Spear Road Guy
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Krakeel In Trouble Too

I just found out Jack Krakeel got a free tour of China too. Why anyone listens to a thing either of the Jacks say is beyond me.

What does Krakeel say about the East Fayetteville Bypass??? They abandoned that project, so are they in violation??? Ready for the next excuse.

ginga1414
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Jack Krakeel, Doing Jack Smith's Bidding

Unfortunately, our county manager is being forced to do Jack Smith's bidding. According to Jack Smith, our county administrator "operates at the behest of the county commission." Mr. Smith made that statement as part of his answer to a question by a citizen with reference to the fact that Mr. Krakeel's contract states that he will receive a performance review only "if he requests one." That may be found at www.allenmccarty.net Click on the video section and then the Second Question video at approximately the 8 minute mark.

The East Bypass was part of the 2004 SPLOST list of projects. However, our commissioners chose to "abandon" the East Bypass after spending $600,000 on it and then decided to transfer the SPLOST money, they would have spent on the East Bypass, to the construction of the West Bypass.

Mr. Krakeel stated above, "So you just can't abandon a project. You have to complete the projects identified in the SPLOST." What happened? According to what Mr. Krakeel and Mr. Smith have said, they must have broken the law.

Also, at the Candidate's Forum, Mr. Eric Imker asked Commissioner Eric Maxwell, "Can you legally change the allocation of SPLOST money; you currently dedicated money for the West Fayetteville Bypass; can you re-direct it to some other SPLOST designated project? That's just a yes or no question." Mr. Maxwell responded, "The answer is yes." Mr. Imker then said, "Thank you because we've heard in the paper, you can't do it."

I rest my case because obviously Mr. Krakeel "operates at the behest of the County Commission."

Doug
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If Mr. Brown is correct than Krakeel is pulling our leg

If the previous county commissioners had already started the East Fayetteville Bypass and Eric Maxwell has admitted that was the case, and Brown is correct that $600,000 had already been invested in the east bypass, then Krakeel is wrong.

Krakeel and his commissioners would be guilty of the same sin of stopping one project and proceeding with another.

Spyglass
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Or Vice Versa..

Just sayin....

Steve Brown
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Krakeel is trying hard to provide cover for Smith and Maxwell

“So you just can’t abandon a project,” Krakeel said. “You have to complete the projects identified in the SPLOST.”

Now if that were true, and it is not, why did the commissioners abandon the East Fayetteville Bypass after the county had already spent $600,000 on the project.

Again, my position has always been there are other county SPLOST projects from the SPLOST that provide a far more substantial benefit than the West Fayetteville Bypass, fund those.

The reference to Dickey v. Storey speaks to using the funding for designated SPLOST projects and there are plenty of officially designated SPLOST projects, both city and county, where the West Fayetteville Bypass funds could go. Walton County and its municipalities did not act without a go ahead from their legal counsels.

They are doing their very best to weasel through on the developer bypass. This is the TDK Extension, Part II.

I hope the voters are paying attention.

johenry
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Councilman Imker had a list of things too

I would like to see the traffic signal and turn lanes with the New Hope Road and HWY 85 project.

Steve is right about the current commissioners doing the very thing Jack Krakeel said they could not do by abandoning the East Fayetteville Bypass.

Save Fayette
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????

Mr. Brown what are the other SPLOST projects that you are talking about that the money should be used on. Do you have a list? I think the designated SPLOST projects have to have been voted on by the citizens.

Citizen Bob
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Save Fayette- check here...

The Fayette County website has a list of the active and inactive projects in both the 70% and 30% categories.

http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/road/SPLOST_Information.htm

grassroots
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Krack Heel and Smith Head Can't Be Diverted From SPLOST

Krakeel better get a second opinion from legal counsel. He and Jack Smith are under the false belief that we are “mandated “ to spend the SPLOST funds on the West Fayetteville Bypass. The pro SPLOST commissioner Smith penned an article in The Citizen dated June 15th “Smith Takes Aim At Brown” which says “Brown will try to negate a voter mandate to do what the political winds tell him to in order to get more political support.” It’s Jack Smith who’s a political bag of wind. Steve Brown has the right idea. Spread the $50 Million over time to the needs of the many rather than for the few who are already rich. The developers and the recent BOE land acquisitions already have their own slush fund if you connect the dots. There is no such law etched in stone and as a matter of late, more counties statewide are choosing to spend their taxed citizens money more wisely and with a greater fairness to all the municipalities and county needs. For example, The Walton Tribune reported in January: /Local municipalities voted this week to return some of the monies received as part of the current Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax — moves to help cover a shortfall in debt service./ “ The fact is it appears to be the right thing to do,” Walnut Grove Mayor Don Cannon said. /The City Council voted to approve giving the money back at its council meeting Thursday night at the recommendation of legal counsel.(See entire article at www.SPLOSTPOLL.com). Legal counsel and a re vote! What a concept! Even Eric Maxwell, an attorney and commissioner, was asked the question regarding this issue from Eric Imker at a recent forum: Can you legally change the allocation of SPLOST money you currently dedicated for the West Fayetteville Bypass? Can you re-direct it to some other SPLOST designated project? That’s just a yes or no question. Maxwell : The answer is yes. Even the Georgia State Code regarding bonds allows you to change what was voted on if the purpose stated is no longer necessary or circumstances have changed such that the expenditure of all or part of such bond funds is no longer practicable or feasible. O.C.G.A. & 36-82-4.2 (2008).
Smith would have you think *no* with his repeated mantra “voters mandate” that we have to build this road to *no*where with *no *environmental permits and *no* state funding because we have *no* choice. We heard the same thing from our incumbent congress when they spent billions of dollars for bailouts and bankers. We had *no* choice. Vote out the narrow minded incumbent, Jack Smith, and vote for someone who can think and act outside the box and says, “Yes, we have a choice.” Steve Brown will stand by his commitment to do the right thing for the entire county, not just for the interests of a few.

ginga1414
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courthouserules, List of Developers

I can provide you with a list of developers who have property along the West Fayetteville Bypass. They are as follows: ARC Enterprises - 370 Acres, John Austin - 98 Acres, Dan Stinchcomb & Ned Walker - 21 Acres, Hwy. 92 LLC (John Wieland - 229 Acres, Green Development (Ed Wyatt) - 264 Acres, Fayette Builders, Inc. (Ed Wyatt) 91 Acres, Driven Development, Inc. - approx. 42 acres, the abandoned Waterlace Subdivision owned by FDIC - acreage unknown.

Mr. Ed Wyatt not only owns 355 Acres along the West Fayetteville Bypass, he owns many gas stations in and around Fayette County and he is a supporter of Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell.

Courthouserules
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ginga: what and when applies

To own such land is not the problem-----the problem is what did they know and when did they know it?
Why did they buy the land---was there a map of such a road handy? This is how state commissioners do it.

Did you or I have a chance to buy that land and a view of the road map by the land and a knowledge as to how the road would be eventually built? Who has tried to "push" the road built lately? Why?

When I came to PTC about 26 years ago I remember having no knowledge as to what and exactly where land and roads were to be developed!
I have also never been invited to buy stock in a new bank here! Thank goodness.

Courthouserules
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Road no one wants?

Seems many think that it is wanted by a select few who want to profit from it!
Isn't this THE WAY?
Why doesn't someone, who can, (hint-hint) simply see who owns the alongside land and ask them if they want it to develop?
And if they do, did they get it honestly in a competitive atmosphere.

Most of our Road executives in Georgia retire very wealthy, you know?
Like Sheriffs do.
Ever seen a poor lawyer after 10 years? A poor doctor? Realtor? Hospital administrators and help? And Judges! Whoa.
Houston, we have a problem!

ginga1414
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Moc, Your Observations Are Right-On

Thank you, Moc, for your analysis of the Bypass situation. You are completely right in you evaluations of the road. Thank you so much for the support.

rmoc
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why take the road??

Yes, it is a road to no-where..So if I am in South PTC, Lakemont, Brooks or Whitewater how do I benefit by looping 3-4 miles around instead of dealing with the 2 or 3 minutes through the square???? Who benefits..the few hundred houses by Cleveland Elementary??? Really the only reasonable path would be to cut 92 somehow around the square. I mean going to Sandy Creek is way out of the way for most residents.

suggarfoot
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RNOC

yes, you are right. Some friends and I traveled it from start to finish one Sunday. There isn't anything in it for most commuters.

But, there are sizable chunks of land owned by people that don't commute. They develop. We with our tax money, when we have very little now, are paying for a road for them, we have already built 3 schools for them. One has 40 kids in it. It is suppose to hold 600. We are paying an enormous amount to keep it open. Another that is around 40% occupied. The kids roll around in it like marbles! Again, enormous upkeep. Why? Waiting, waiting for the children from the developments that haven't been built.

Getting back to the road to no where...if you took it, you would go on an adventure...it would take you hours if you stuck to that thing to get to work.

So why the road..developers...and it gets worse...can you go fast if you have to slow down for 3 schools to 25 mph? nope

If you own 10-15 acres on that bypass...can you join the get rich gravy train? nope.. you see there are just a few curb cuts..developers of subdivisions get those...if you have land next to those..you can't have a curb cut...but you can sell your land to the developers, for what ever they want to pay..that is your choice.

nice don't you think?

rmoc
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Road to no-where comedy

Thought everyone could have a good laugh..I have tried all the back roads just for a change of pace over the years. One night I got in late to Hartsfield, decided to take Westbridge to 92 for a change. I go just south of New Hope and saw something in the road..at first I thought it was a deer but it was too large. It was a LLama! Being the animal lover I am and since it was not hunting season, I stopped and put on my blinkers to warn other motorists. I called the sheriff's office and the operator squealed "don't get out of the car, LLamas are mean!" The sheriff came by a few minutes later and his lights scared the llama into the woods. Maybe we can stop the bypass because it is the home of the elusive Fayette County llama!! Yes the West Bypass Llama refuge!!

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