Glynn County Commissioners revisited Tuesday the subject of building four new pickleball courts on St. Simons Island.
The county government set aside $150,000 out of its reserves to pay for the courts and was close to pulling the trigger in June. Commissioners opted instead to save the money after receiving bids from contractors. At the time, the seven-member body was more concerned about COVID-19 and the potential economic impacts.
During a finance committee meeting Tuesday, Recreation and Parks Department Director Lisa Gurganus asked the three county commissioners who serve on the committee to revive the initiative using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax V money that has sat unused for nearly 15 years.
The committee does not make final decisions on financial matters, only recommendations to the county commission.
Specifically, she asked to repurpose $146,200 from SPLOST V, passed by voters in 2005, to pay for the courts.
Among the projects SPLOST V was intended to pay for was the vague category of District 2 recreation projects, St. Simons Island being in District 2. It was this money she wanted to tap into, but much of it had been earmarked to pave over a recently piped drainage ditch to create more parking at the Coast Guard beach parking area.
Since then, the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Coastal Georgia Historical Society worked together to craft a master plan to revamp the entire parking area. County engineer Paul Andrews said commissioners put the SPLOST V Coast Guard paving project on the back burner while the master plan developed.
Paving over the drainpipes did not seem to conflict with the master plan, Commissioner David O’Quinn observed. He proceeded to question why it had not been done already.
County commissioners Bill Brunson and Allen Booker, committee chairman, voted to recommend that the full seven-member commission approve the action. O’Quinn abstained because he wanted to further explore why the money hasn’t been used for the paving project.
It will come up again at a future county commission meeting.
The committee also unanimously recommended using excess SPLOST 2016 to replace rainy-day money the county spent on SPLOST project overruns.
A new veterans memorial park in downtown Brunswick, a new Glynn County Animal Control shelter at the county’s public safety complex and the East Beach Causeway-Demere Road roundabout collectively came in about $2.8 million over budget.
“We’ve collected additional SPLOST revenue over and above what was budgeted, and so we want to repay the general fund for those projects out of SPLOST revenue,” Munson said.
The county set a target of $71.6 million for the three-and-a-half-year, 1 percent sales tax, which it reached in May. That additional revenue could bring SPLOST 2016 collections up to $80 million.
In other business, the committee recommended:
• Spending $48,698 to pave Palm Drive in the Sea Palms neighborhood.
• Accepting a $121,384 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation to pay for a Brunswick area traffic study.
• Waiving park fees for a United Way of Coastal Georgia fundraiser in Mallery Park, scheduled for Oct. 24.
• Purchasing eight new Dodge Charger pursuit cars for the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office for $203,320.
• Renewing a Microsoft software license for $215,291. Nearly all county computers and servers operate on Microsoft software.