Local Option Sales Tax negotiations between Brunswick and Glynn County officials aren’t scheduled until May 2022, but discussions have already started among city officials.
At Monday’s finance committee meeting, City Manager Regina McDuffie said she is researching the history of the last negotiations in 2011 to determine how the 1 percent sales tax revenue was split.
With the help of a negotiator, the city got 35 percent of the revenue,and let the county handle animal control, city recreation and traffic.
McDuffie said she has experience negotiating on behalf of a city and on behalf of a county and understands the perspective both sides bring to the table.
McDuffie said she plans to recommend the city hire a consultant to gather the information and data needed for the negotiations with the county.
Commissioner Felicia Harris expressed her displeasure with the current LOST, saying “something wasn’t done properly.”
County officials wanted the money split based on population, but city officials argued about the impact island residents have on the city’s infrastructure and services, as well as large employers like the colleges and hospital that don’t pay city taxes.
City officials also discussed a proposal to make major improvements at Howard Coffin Park. The $271,000 project includes shade structures near the swimming pool, new playground equipment and a picnic pavilion, said city engineer Garrow Alberson.
“We want to get something out there the community will use,” Alberson said.
Work will also include resurfacing the walking trail and adding more paved parking spaces. The work could be done by the end of April if city officials approve the project at the March 3 city commission meeting.
The project will be paid for with a $100,000 land and water conservation grant, with the remainder coming from SPLOST 6 revenue already collected.
“It’s past time we got this done,” commissioner Vincent Williams said.
City officials discussed a $45 funeral escort fee to help defray the cost of law enforcement when police conduct traffic control for a funeral. Finance committee members agreed law enforcement should choose the best route to the cemetery, rejecting a suggestion that the people asking for the service determine the route.
Scheduling is also a consideration, with law enforcement duties such as responding to an accident or crime scene taking precedence over escorting a funeral.