AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Right now, apathy appears to be the leader when it comes to the SPLOST vote. Turnout is slow, that is not unexpected. SPLOST referendums usually do pass but not always. It depends on how well the voters embrace the project list.
Joe Sills came to make his vote count for SPLOST 8 and you can count him as a no.
“We don’t need a water park and I would say that the arena should be finance by the artists,” Sills.
But under the SPLOST package approved by commissioners, money for the arena and water park are to be funded through the sales tax, saying some opposition is expected.
“You always have small groups of people who want to sabotage the SPLOST, but the folks I’ve spoken with say they’re all for the SPLOST. They understand the meaning and purpose,” says Commissioner Sammie Sias.
But others say there is more opposition to the SPLOST this year than in the past because of what’s included, like the arena and water park.
“Yes, I think there’s a lot of opposition for this SPLOST, a lot of people don’t like the fluff in this one,” said SPLOST opponent Michael Thurman.
But one project voters should look at is the one that’s already built: the Cyber Center parking deck.
“Absolutely, it’s one of the most important parts. That was one of the first items on the list,” said Commissioner Sias.
The city borrowed $16 and a half million dollars for the deck, and is now paying the interest on the bonds. To get our from under that debt, the city is counting on SPLOST.
“The Cyber Center is a super success and to keep it being a success, SPLOST 8 needs to pass, particularly to pay for the parking deck,” said Sias.
Right now, the city is paying $525 thousand dollars a year in interest on the cyber deck, those interest payments will change once this or another SPLOST is approved.