House Bill 477 Becomes State Law:
http://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/en- ... 016/HB/477
(Under Current Version, click "open current", then click "open" to view the new law)
Please read the above attached House Bill 477 signed into law May 12, 2015 by Governor Deal, and made effective May 12, 2015.
And, pay special attention to "Section 2" that states "when a new municipal corporation is created by Act of the General Assembly, the new municipality SHALL assume ownership, control, care, and maintenance of county road rights of way located within the area incorporated unless the municipality and the county agree otherwise by a joint resolution." Not to mention the new roads that will need to be funded in the future by Sharon Springs.
Status history of HB477:
Feb. 24 - First Read in the House
March 9 - Passed by House
March 23 - House & Senate agree
May 12 - Signed into law by the Governor
May 12 - Effective Date
Mike Dudgeon, backed by Phillip Barlag and the Sharon Springs Alliance, introduced HB660 for formation of the proposed new City of Sharon Springs on March 25. This was two days after the Senate and the House agreed on the wording of HB477. So, it appears that Michael Dougeon, who voted for HB477 twice, and Phillip Barlag (SSA Chairman) should be aware of this major development affecting the finances of the new city.
According to the F/C Roads Dept., there are 1128 miles of county roads inside the limits of Forsyth County. Approximately 350 miles of those county roads (paved, gravel, and dirt) are within the proposed city limits of Sharon Springs. The road maintenance, resurfacing, and legal fees to settle water runoff cases cost the county over $6 million per year, or approximately $5,300 per mile. This translates to almost $2 million for the county roads in which Sharon Springs "SHALL assume ownership". (According to the feasibility study, this $2 million could possibly be off set by a drop in the bucket of aprox. $200,000 with a Local Maintenance Improvement Grant from the state.) This line item is not addressed in the expenditure estimates related to the potential new city of Sharon Springs.
The Sharon Springs Alliance feasibility study estimates revenues for the new city at aprox. $6.5 million, and expenditures at aprox. $3.8 million with a cushion of aprox.$2.7 million. Factoring in the aprox. $2 million in expenditures for road maintenance, that leaves a cushion of less than one million dollars. Since road maintenance will be required of the new city, the ad valorem tax limit in the house bill for Sharon Springs appears to be inadequate.
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