THOMASVILLE — Thomas County commissioners said Monday they will set 2006 millage after a July referendum.

Outcome of the July 18 vote will determine what commissioners will need for some expenses.

In the absence of a “yes” referendum vote, commissioners will have to pay for space to house some offices — to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

Pointing out county government’s austere 2006 budget with no capital outlay expenses, board Chairman Josh Herring said relocation of some county offices to provide needed space is at the top of the needs list if the SPLOST vote fails.

Property owners face a four-mill increase in property taxes if the SPLOST referendum is defeated.

Tax offices would go into leased space, while Probate Court and voter registration would be relocated to the courthouse annex at Broad and Jackson streets.

The Elijah Hill building would be renovated at a cost of $100,000.

Road and bridge improvement needs stand at more than $2 million.

The projected cost of courthouse security and repairs is $500,000.

Another $1.5 million is needed to replace sheriff’s office patrol units and public works heavy equipment, for solid-waste improvements and to purchase pickup trucks for various departments.

About $36 million is projected as the revenue from a six-year 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) proposed in the July referendum.

The money would fund restoration/renovation of the historic Thomas County Courthouse, construction of a multipurpose county facility, road and street work, library expansion, recreation improvements and a countywide communication system.

Thomasville and the county’s six smaller municipalities would receive SPLOST revenue based on population.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 220.

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