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County planning for early splost extension
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Bulloch County Commissioners and city representatives met Wednesday to begin finalizing details regarding fund allocation for future Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) dollars.
    The group of local leaders gathered for a luncheon at the North Main Annex to review the estimated contributions a 2013 SPLOST would yield, if voters decide to approve an extension to the one-cent sales tax this November.
    An extension, which would allow a continuation of the tax for a period of six years ending in 2019, will result in more than $70 million to spur economic development and provide continued quality services to county residents, said Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch.
    Wednesday, officials representing Bulloch County, Brooklet, Portal, Register and Statesboro agreed to renew a current intergovernmental agreement outlining how SPLOST money is spent and the percentage of funds each city can expect.
    According to Couch, the 2007 contract will be changed to reflect new city projects and updated percentages for fund distribution – Bulloch County and its four cities are disbursed money based on population, he said.
    Representatives of Brooklet and Portal submitted preliminary lists showing how the respective municipalities will utilize potential funds. Statesboro and Register are expected to finalize plans during the next couple of weeks, said Couch.
    County Commissioners hope to complete the updated agreement before the end of June.     County officials are calling for a referendum on the SPLOST extension one year in advance to secure the long-term funding source through the end of the decade, and move forth with large-scale projects.
    Jeff Harrison can be reached at 912-489-9454.

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