Walker County Awards Contract to Pave 13 Roads

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield awarded a contract last night to Talley Construction to resurface 13 roads.

The project includes Peavine Road, East Long Hollow, Ringgold Road, Five Points Road and Five Points Spur, Osburn Road and Osburn Court, South Dicks Creek Road, South Burnt Mill Road, Dry Valley Road, West Schmitt Road, Glass Mill Road and Jones Road.

The Transportation Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) approved by voters in November 2017 and state LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) funds will pay for this project, which is to be completed by September 30, 2019.  This allows the county to effectively pay “cash” for roads and avoid taking out costly loans that charge interest.

TSPLOST generates about $290,000 a month and helped fund three road projects in 2018: Nickajack Road, Nickajack Lane and Diamond Circle.

Walker County is working with area utility providers to ensure underground lines that need to be replaced are addressed before road work begins.  This could impact the order of the 13 roads contracted for resurfacing.

TSPLOST Takes Effect Sunday, April 1st in Walker County

Walker County voters approved a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax on November 7, 2017 by an overwhelming margin. On Sunday, April 1st, local businesses will start collecting the additional penny tax to help fund road and bridge projects.

The sales tax rate in Walker County will change from 7% to 8% for most goods and services. Here’s a breakdown of how that 8% tax is figured.

  • 4% – Georgia State Sales Tax (increased from 3% to 4% on April 1, 1989)
  • 1% – LOST (local option sales tax took effect on April 1, 1976)
  • 1% – SPLOST (“special purpose” local option sales tax took effect on October 1, 2014 and ends on September 30, 2020)
  • 1% – ELOST (education local option sales tax took effect on July 7, 2017 and ends on June 30, 2022)
  • 1% – TSPLOST (transportation special purpose local option sales tax takes effect on April 1, 2018 and ends on March 31, 2023)

While TSPLOST will start being collected in April, it will be late summer before the county starts receiving the funds. With that in mind, Walker County is targeting Fall 2018 to tackle the first TSPLOST funded projects.

There are 674 miles of road in Walker County. An engineering firm will be evaluating each road and assigning a grade on a scale of 1 to 100, based on Georgia Department of Transportation specifications. The assessment will cover both paving quality and safety of our roads and bridges. Once the study is complete, the data will be added to our GIS system to map and color code roads by their grade.

This process will also show us where there are clusters of roads that are severe, in addition to which roads are more heavily traveled and create the most safety issues. Then, we will be able to make decisions on which roads to address based on data.

Once complete, the road study information will be made available to the public, so everyone can see the condition of all county roads.

Walker County Commissioner to hold Facebook Live Session on TSPLOST Monday

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield will take to Facebook Monday, November 6th, to explain and respond to questions concerning the upcoming Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) vote.

Whitfield will hold a “Facebook Live” session at 6:00 p.m. on the Walker County Government’s official Facebook page. Along with explaining the benefits of TSPLOST, Whitfield encourages voters to engage with him and post questions during the broadcast.
The county’s Facebook page is located at facebook.com/WalkerCountyCommissioner and features the county’s seal as its profile picture.
Walker County residents will vote “yes” or “no” on the TSPLOST on Tuesday, November 7th. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. TSPLOST calls for a 1% sales tax increase with funds earmarked specifically for transportation projects, like road paving. The tax would last five-years and would not take effect until April 1, 2018. It is estimated TSPLOST will generate about $3 million a year for transportation projects in Walker County and its five cities.