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Social Circle Council begins planning for 2013 SPLOST

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- Public safety is a top priority for Social Circle officials who are beginning to set priorities for a future sales tax referendum.

Walton County's current special purpose local option sales tax is set to expire at the end of 2012, and officials are laying plans to place before voters on Nov. 8 a referendum for another SPLOST that would begin in 2013.

Elected officials in Walton County's cities, including Social Circle, are tasked with preparing their list of proposed projects to be funded by the future SPLOST, should it be approved.

The Social Circle City Council met Tuesday to begin outlining proposed SPLOST projects so it can submit a final list to county officials on May 19.

City Manager Doug White said Social Circle anticipates it will receive about $3.1 million in sales tax revenue from the SPLOST that is expected to generate about $60 million over five years.

The draft list presented Tuesday includes:

* $1 million for public safety improvements;

* $750,000 for roads, sidewalks and drainage improvements;

* $500,000 for library improvements and expansion;

* $500,000 for water and sewer improvements; and

* $250,000 for playgrounds and recreation projects.

"This list is subject to change," White said.

For example, he said, Social Circle is considering using some SPLOST funds to construct another fire station. However, White said that Walton County might be planning to construct a fire station near Social Circle with its portion of the sales tax revenue.

"We also want to hear about reports that Walton County may have interests in further recreational improvements to include a seniors facility, aquatics facility or health and fitness facility or some combination of this in our area," White told council members.

The Social Circle City Council will discuss the proposed project list further at its May 17 meeting.