published Friday, October 21st, 2011

Murray County officials discuss sales tax projects

CHATSWORTH, Ga. -- Murray County, Chatsworth and Eton officials met this week to discuss what projects they will place on a 1 percent sales tax referendum next year.

Officials said they plan to put the referendum requesting a six-year tax on the ballot in the March 6 primary election. To do so, officials must approve a final projects list by Nov. 18.

The sales tax would raise about $27 million over six years, based on the tax in place now, according to Tommy Parker, finance director for Murray County.

Voters approved a 1 percent sales tax in 2006 that will expire at the end of 2012.

The Murray County projects presented during the meeting included equipment for various departments, $2.5 million for the fire department, $8.7 million for roads and bridges and $7 million for the Murray County hospital.

The list for Chatsworth included $1.5 million for public safety, $950,000 for infrastructure and $750,000 for city streetscapes.

Chatsworth City Councilwoman Celeste Martin, who presented the list, said Wednesday night that any projects for the city will benefit all of Murray County because many people shop and work there.

Martin also urged officials to look for ways to improve the area's appeal, both for tourists and residents.

"We have to revitalize downtown," she said. "We need to position ourselves for the future and focus on what we can truly be the best on."

Eton's list included equipment and vehicles for the street, fire and police departments and recreation improvements.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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