“We have a long list of capital improvements that need to be made that can be funded through this SPLOST,” Wright said. “The two that are most important right now are improvements to the water and sewer system. Federal and state requirements continue to force cities to update and make changes to our drinking water program and our wastewater systems.”
Voters, by approving the SPLOST as they did in 2009, will be ensuring that not only local purchases, but also those made by tourists and travelers will add to the collective pot.
“Anyone and everyone that passes through Catoosa County and makes a purchase contributes to the tax,” Wright said. “Everyone who purchases food, fuel, or stays in a hotel room in the county pays the one cent, and it is estimated that a very substantial portion of the SPLOST is paid for by those from outside the county.”
Wright said the city is currently working on sidewalk projects at Shady Place, and High and Williams streets, in addition to installing a sidewalk along Nashville Street (U.S. 41) from Guyler Street to the CVS Pharmacy.
The sidewalk project from Guyler to CVS is currently awaiting instillation of a water main that will begin this month.
The city also recently agreed to lease approximately 46 acres of land near Robin Road and Ga. 151 (Alabama Highway) for what will be known as “Clark Park,” with some funds expected to be used for recreation upgrades in the future.
In addition to the new cycle of funds for 2014, Wright says that the city still has some funds and projects from the 2009 SPLOST that are also pending.
“We have our pedestrian bridge project that is currently in the permitting process that is funded through 2009 SPLOST funds, and we have our downtown enhancement project that will be put out to bid in the fall,” Wright said.
The downtown enhancement project received a transportation enhancement grant of $250,000 from the Georgia Department of Transportation, with the remaining funds paid from the 2009 SPLOST.
Wright said remaining 2009 SPLOST funds that are not already committed to these projects would be used for minor upgrades such as renovations to police department interview rooms on the second floor of city hall.
“The city of Ringgold has provided labor on several projects in the past and will continue to do so, provided that the work load will allow it,” Wright said. “The timeline will be based on the collection of the funds and by prioritization by the city council. The sewer projects in the county are of the greatest importance to the whole community and the city and county will continue to work together to prioritize these projects.”