Voters in Spalding County voted against it, 6,473 to 2,814, or 69.7 percent to 30.3 percent.
With five of the 10 counties reporting, the results are about the same as in Spalding County, based on percentage. Only 30.45 percent, or 20,359, voted yes, while 69.55 percent, or 46,503, said no. Upson County was the only county of the 10 counties in the region to pass the T-SPLOST.
What it means is that unless there is a change from the Georgia General Assembly, the regions that did not pass the T-SPLOST will end up paying 30 percent to get matching funds from the state. This is up from 10 percent currently.
Local officials had been counting on passage of the sales tax to fund 15 projects in Spalding County including the new Griffin-Spalding Airport’s land acquisition and construction. At the last Griffin-Spalding Area Transportation Committee meeting members admitted there was no Plan B to otherwise fund the 15 transportation projects.
The newly created Airport Authority had planned to issue bonds to be paid back with the T-SPLOST revenue to begin purchasing land and building the new airport on the site between Jackson Road and High Falls Road, just east of Griffin.
The T-SPLOST was also to fund the road improvements for the rerouting of Georgia Highway 155 down North McDonough Road from Jackson Road to Georgia Highway 16 as well as a continuing study of the Atlanta-to-Griffin commuter rail.
All three of those projects have had a lot of vocal opposition from impacted residents and the airport had become a campaign issue for Bart Miller Jr., who defeated incumbent Spalding County Board of Commissioners member Eddie Freeman, who was seeking a third term and served on the Three Rivers T-SPLOST committee.