To the Editor:

I am writing to encourage the residents of Upson to vote “No” on the renewal of the SPLOST on Oct. 4.

If you read the projects specified for work from this renewal, it promises to bring in $23 million. Several projects are mentioned that will be funded by this effort, but by far the most expensive project, the “justice center,” is barely mentioned. However, that project alone will cost more than half the projected revenues.

I am not sure if our commissioners have their collective heads in the sand because building costs have increased 40 percent and, in reality, the justice center is likely to cost in excess of $50 million. This will force the commission to resolve the SPLOST shortfalls with, wait for it… an increase in our property taxes.

When has any government – local, state, or federal – ever delivered on a projected cheaper than their cost estimates?

I have a better solution for the “no justice center.” The issues concerning the current courthouse can be repaired at a fraction of the cost for a new facility. Our neighboring county build onto their current courthouse to meet their demands and keep costs under control.

The commissioners authorized $500,000 for the purchase of land for a project not yet funded and during a time of rising building costs. Our commissioners assumed this was a done deal. On Oct. 4, let them know that it’s not.

Vote “No” on an eventual out-of-control justice center project that, in the end, will mean a raising of our property taxes.

Ken Whaley

(1) comment

JE

It is hard to vote against a SPLOST for the simple reason that it is indeed an effective way of rising revenue fairly. The argument against this particular venture is valid in that we are operating in a completely alien environment and we have no crystal ball to guide us! The contention that it is "unheard of" for a government project to come in under bid is all too true. It would seem that this may not be the most opportune time to commit to a problem of this scope and magnitude. Sure, it would be nice to have a new judicial complex but to commit to this course in a period of such increased instability and fluctuation just may not be the most desirable course for now.

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