A series of town hall meetings aimed at convincing voters to pass a Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax in November will start with a kickoff community meeting Aug. 15 in Flemington.
The first meeting will be held at the Liberty County Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m. and is sponsored by the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce.
The public is invited. Additional meetings have already been scheduled for Midway, Gum Branch and Riceboro, and more meetings are in the works.
County voters rejected renewing the 1 percent sales tax in November 2014 and SPLOST proponents hope voters will change their minds during the general election. With that vote only a few months away, the town hall type meetings will give community members the opportunity to get information, ask questions and voice their concerns.
"It’s an opportunity to become an educated voter," Chamber CEO Leah Poole said. "Whether you vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for it, you’ll have that information."
Poole said people will have an opportunity to see the project list in more detail, learn what the money can go towards and hear from their elected officials.
Former Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said at a recent SPLOST campaign planning meeting he hopes the campaign will dispel any rumors and myths surrounding the tax.
If passed, SPLOST is projected to raise an estimated $54 million over six years. The revenue will be shared by local governments to fund capital projects and pay down debt, according to officials.
The SPLOST project list includes paying some of the debt on the Justice Center and MidCoast Regional Airport at Wright Airfield, road improvements, construction of an East End Medical Clinic operated by Liberty Regional Medical Center, projects in the different municipalities, purchase of public safety equipment and vehicles, a multi-purpose governmental facility for Midway and improvements to the county’s 911 safety system.
SPLOST town hall meetings
• Kick-off Community Meeting, Aug 15 6 p.m. Performing Arts Center
• East End Meeting, August 22 6 p.m. at Liberty County Community Complex
• Gum Branch Community Meeting, Sept 1 6 p.m. at Gum Branch Fire Department
• Riceboro Community Meeting, Sept 12 6 p.m. at Riceboro Recreation Center
Meetings in the following areas will be announced
• Dorchester Civic Center
• Lake George