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Posted on: October 9, 2020

City department heads highlight Powder Springs projects for 2022 SPLOST

Coins next to pink piggy bank

View the presentation video from our city Facebook page.

Download the SPLOST 2022 City of Powder Springs Projects PowerPoint presentation here.

POWDER SPRINGS—The pennies that add up from a 1-percent sales tax would go toward expanding parks, improving downtown parking, resurfacing city streets and more if Cobb voters renew the tax in the Nov. 3 election.

Powder Springs’ plans for the sales tax revenues were highlighted in a live-streamed presentation Thursday night on the city’s Facebook page.

Cobb’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is an optional sales tax, spanning up to six years at a time, and proposed by the county government and participating municipal governments — Cobb’s cities, including Powder Springs, are apportioned shares of the tax revenues based on their populations. The sales tax must be approved by Cobb voters via a referendum.

Voters in this year’s general election will be considering approval of a SPLOST to start in 2022, though the sales tax would not be a new one: It would immediately succeed Cobb’s 2016 SPLOST, which remains underway and spans six years, ending on Dec. 31, 2021.

Estimates based on Powder Springs’ population and revenue projections predict the city will collect about $14.3 million with the county earmarking another $3 million toward city projects, which could give the city about $17.3 million to put toward projects.

Funds raised by the sales tax can only be put toward capital projects; cities’ and the county’s operating expenses cannot be covered by SPLOST monies.

The following areas would see benefits of a renewed SPLOST:

PARKS

Jeff Crowder, the city’s director of Parks & Recreation and Cultural Affairs, said that while nearly every parks facility would receive funding “to make sure we stay up to date and our facilities are maintained to quality standards at all times for our city,” among the major projects proposed are additions to Powder Springs Park.

Already featuring several baseball fields, the park could receive as many as three more “passive” elements: a medium- to large-size pavilion for 80-100 people, a dog park for both large and small dogs, and a parking lot/farmer’s market area that would have water and electrical outlets that would better allow the park to host special events. 

The dog park would give local pet owners a new space closer than the nearest such amenity in Austell, Crowder said, while the new lot with its utility hookups could complement the city’s new downtown park, Thurman Springs Park, as large events could be spread out across both parks.

Linear Park, meanwhile, is being eyed for a state-of-the art, competitive-style skate park, which would feature above-ground ramps and jumps, as well as a bowl. City staff, Crowder said, visited similar amenities in the cities of Kennesaw and Macon in development of Powder Springs’ future site for skateboarders.

Existing facilities to be kept up to date with SPLOST funds include the Patricia C. Vaughn Cultural Arts Center, Ford Center Reception Hall and Seven Springs Museum.

TRANSPORTATION

The 2022 SPLOST could see both connected parks and connected cities. Proposed to create the latter is an Austell-Powder Springs corridor multi-use trail.

Tina Garver, the city’s Community Development director, said the trail would connect downtown Austell with the city, going along Austell-Powder Springs Road and connecting to the Silver Comet Trail in Powder Springs, allowing visitors to reach the Linear Park trail and ultimately the downtown area. The project, Garver said, was on the Cobb County Green Ways and Trails Master Plan adopted in 2018, as well the corridor connectivity study that was done by the city later in 2018.

Additional planned trails would connect the downtown area to the Silver Comet Trail, with trail connectivity proposed for placement at Pineview Drive or Old Lost Mountain Road.

“The Silver Comet Trail is a huge asset for our community, and we want to be able to bring visitors off of the trail into our downtown area, or have people visit the downtown area so they can get onto the trail,” Garver said.

Another transportation proposal would place a traffic signal on Richard D. Sailors Parkway at the entrance of Linear Park, according to Public Works Director Dwayne Eberhart.

Resurfacing of several streets are also in the city’s list of pitched projects. Some of the roads proposed for resurfacing include Acorn and Atlanta streets; Bengal and Country Walk drives; Bronco and Daffodil lanes; Buckhorn, Hadrian and Hillside courts; Barnwood Place; Brown Parkway; Deer Creek; Elberta Terrace and Furlong Way.

And one transportation project would assess existing parking in the city’s downtown area and establish projects such as possible parking spot re-striping, a parking garage or additional surface parking lots.

PUBLIC SAFETY

The Powder Springs Police Department has replacement patrol vehicles, new mobile and body cameras, and radio upgrades on its list of expenditures it hopes to fund with a renewed SPLOST.

“We have vehicles dating back to 2013, and (we’re) trying to do a replacement schedule to keep costs down, maintenance costs and things like that. We would have that in there to keep the fleet fresh,” says Police Chief Tony Bailey.

Purchasing new in-car mobile cameras and body cameras would replace the aging devices currently used by officers, while new radios are needed as replacement parts are coming harder to come by and, like the cameras, are closer to becoming obsolete.

“Technology, it gets better, advances over time. We’re coming to the end-of-life on some of those systems, and this would help us come up with the latest technology for in-car and body camera systems,” Bailey said. “It also helps protect the public, for better transparency, as we go forward.”

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