Editor, I really love to watch the “good ol’ boy” politicians in Liberty County inveigle money from the taxpayers. If their sneakiness wasn’t so serious, it would be funny.
The county commissioners never give up trying to take our hard-earned money from us for their “pat on the back” projects. In the July 29 edition of the Coastal Courier, the county commissioners stated their intention of bringing back the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax again (“State of roads tops SPLOST discussion”). Only this time, they list “paving dirt roads and repairing paved roads” as their main objectives, as both items tug at the heartstrings of the residents. As I said, “sneaky.”
Of course, they still want $9.5 million for the opulent wood-and-marble edifice known as the Justice Center, which is only a partial payment. Instead of using a full year’s SPLOST for the Justice Center and paying it off, the county issued bonds so that we have to pay interest along with the huge cost overruns. Did you know this, or did they sneak it by you?
Don’t forget the $4 million for the runway extension to nowhere at the MidCoast Regional Airport. Can anyone tell me how much money the county made from the runway extension, if any?
OK, now using old math taught 60 years ago, the county expects to get $54 million from the new SPLOST, if it passes. The county wants to commit $13.5 million to cover the previously mentioned cost-wasted projects, which should have not exceeded the money received from a one-year SPLOST.
The paper stated that $21.4 million would go to road projects. According to my fingers and toes, that leaves $19.1 million for other projects.
Some are worthwhile, such as public safety, but these projects will add additional debt, because the SPLOST money would not be sufficient to pay for all of the projects, thereby necessitating further SPLOST requirements with no end in sight.
At some point, the county — like us individuals — has to live within its means. P.T. Barnum once said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” The county commissioners are trying real hard to find those suckers.