TSPLOST to target Chatham Co. railroad issues

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 6:05 PM EDT
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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Railroads holding up traffic in Chatham County may soon be gone.

The Chatham County Commission says a local tax on your ballot would help fund the removal of the railroads.

Chairman Chester Ellis says voting for TSPLOST in November could help get rid of railroads like the one in Garden City that often hold up traffic. Ellis says they are working to eliminate ten railroads and they are most focused on the one on Highway 21 and President Street.

“Everybody in here will agree that railroad on President Street is a nuisance.”

He says they will be receiving federal funds to help cover the railroad projects, for example federal funds will handle 80 percent of the cost to eliminate the railroad on President Street and the remaining 20 percent of funds would come from transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

“That 20 percent is set up in the TSPLOST so that we can help folks get around Chatham County.”

He says if TSPLOST doesn’t pass, it’s likely that property taxes will go up.

The tax adds a penny to sales and is on the November ballot. He says voting for TSPLOST will help them tackle drainage issues.

“There’s not one area in the County that doesn’t experience flooding during one time or the other. It is our hope that after this there will be no area in Chatham County that floods,” Ellis said.

In addition to TSPLOST, Chatham County is still negotiating with Savannah and surrounding municipalities on how to split the Local Option Sales Tax that will give residents a rollback, according to Ellis.

Ellis says it should be split in half with the county and other municipalities including Savannah.

“It’s in negotiations. From negotiations we go to mediation and hopefully we’ll come out with something that’s for the benefit of all and not just for the largest municipality in town.”

They have until the end of the year to come to an agreement or they will lose the money the tax could bring.

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