Early voting in a special election on two referendums begins Monday.
On the ballot will be the SPLOST 2021 referendum and a resolution to declare the Oglethorpe Conference Center SPLOST IV and V project infeasible and to reallocate the $2.5 million remaining to reduce property taxes.
Glynn County commissioners propose implementing a 1 percent sales tax for three years, which would generate a total of $68.5 million split among the county, city of Brunswick, Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission and Jekyll Island Authority for infrastructure and capital projects. The registered electorate has the final say, however.
Voters will be able to cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, over the next three weeks at three locations: the Office Park Building at 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick; the Ballard Community Building at 30 Nimitz Drive; and on St. Simons Island at Glynn County Fire Station No. 2, 1929 Demere Road.
All polling precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 16.
Voters can check their registration status or find their polling place by visiting glynncounty.org/elections. Absentee ballot requests can be submitted via ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov or the Glynn County Board of Elections office, 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick. The elections office can be reached at 912-554-7060.
Because this is a new election cycle, all voters must submit new mail-in ballot requests.
Restrictions on the ability of county governments to advocate for a SPLOST led the Glynn County Commission to rely on the OneGlynn PAC to help support the endeavor.
Most of that has happened at civic group meetings, which led Citizens For St. Simons Island and Sea Island to hold its own independent town hall meetings to provide information to the public about SPLOST projects.
The next town meeting will be on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Coastal Georgia Historical Society’s St. Simons Lighthouse Museum, 610 Beachview Drive. Another is scheduled for March 2 at the Old Glynn County Courthouse in Brunswick.
George Ragsdale, president of Citizens For St. Simons Island and Sea Island, said the goal is to provide information impartially, not to advocate for or against the SPLOST.
“To me, the purpose of these meetings is to put as much information out about the SPLOST so they can make an informed decision when they go to vote,” Ragsdale said.
The town halls also came as a direct response to OneGlynn, which he said is aggressively trying to promote the tax.
“As far as I’m concerned, they’re not putting out any information. (They’re) just asking people to vote yes,” Ragsdale said.
The town halls are also intended to provide background information about past SPLOSTs and recommendations from the SPLOST 2016 Citizens Oversight Committee.
“There was a SPLOST oversight committee that filed two reports with recommendations, most of which have been ignored by county commissioners going ahead with this SPLOST,” Ragsdale said. “Those are things I think the public has a right to know before they vote.”
Here is a breakdown of projects to be funded by the proposed SPLOST 2021:
• Access and right-of-way improvements at intersection of Frederica Road and Sea Island Road — $6 million
• Access and right-of-way improvements at intersection of Glynco Parkway and Canal Road — $5 million
• Glynco Parkway improvements — $2 million
• St. Simons Gateway project — $750,000
• Road repaving — $3 million
• Somersby Pointe drainage improvements — $1.3 million
• Perry Lane Road drainage improvements — $1.5 million
• St. Simons Island Village drainage improvements — $1 million
• Fire Station No. 5 reconstruction at Brunswick Golden Isles Airport — $3.5 million
• Judicial system space needs project — $2 million
• Blythe Island Regional Park improvements — $1.5 million
• Coast Guard Beach Park improvements — $2.5 million
• North Glynn Park improvements — $1 million
• Selden Park improvements — $750,000
• North Harrington sidewalk — $450,000
• Old Cypress Mill Road sidewalk — $515,800
• Fourth Street sidewalk — $300,000
• I-95 gateway signage — $800,000
• Wayfinding signage — $300,000
• St. Simons Airport airfield safety and pavement improvements — $800,000
• Brunswick Golden Isles Airport compass calibration pad and access taxilane — $300,000
• Economic development site development and improvements — $2.5 million
Brunswick-Glynn County Water and Sewer Commission
• Sewer line rehabilitation gravity sewers — $1.75 million
• Dunbar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant rehabilitation — $3.25 million
• Transite water main replacements — $1.5 million
• Arco area service extension — $3.5 million
• Community Road area service extension — $2.5 million
• Exit 42 water tower — $2.5 million
Jekyll Island Authority
• Clam Creek Pier access and safety improvements — $1 million
• Bike path paving — $1.5 million
City of Brunswick
• Mill and pave various streets — $3.54 million
• Sidewalk replacement and upgrade — $300,000
• Storm drainage improvements — $4.25 million
• Norwich Street redevelopment — $140,000
• Downtown parking and infrastructure — $300,000
• City building improvements — $300,000
• Trails and boardwalks — $450,000
• Public Works capital vehicles and equipment — $600,000
• Replacement of police vehicles — $350,000
• Replacement of fire ladder truck — $1.1 million
• Ritz Theater renovation — $300,000
• Mary Ross Park development project — $200,000
• R. Lawrence Youth Center — $750,000
• R. Harris Senior Center improvements — $150,000
• Other park improvements — $250,000
• Information technology integrated software — $250,000