Lagrange mayoral race preview and Troup County SPLOST explained

LAGRANGE, Ga. -- On Tuesday, voters will gather at ballot boxes in LaGrange as the mayoral election pitts incumbent Jim Thornton against Jimmy McCamey Jr.

Mayor Thornton took over in 2013 after four years as a city councilor. During his time as mayor, the city has seen several new businesses and thousands of new jobs come to the area

McCamey was born and raised in LaGrange. he's been a small business owner for more than two decades and taught for 15 years as well.

News 3 spoke with both men on what they hope to accomplish over the next four years.

"Taking the growth that we've already experienced and addressing the infrastructure needs that we have, the housing needs that we have and continuing to focus on improving public safety so those are my primary goals over the next four years," Mayor Thornton said.

"We need quality and affordable homes and that will be a focus," McCamey said. "The second thing is crime. Crime is an issue here. We have a chief of police who's done an outstanding job bringing credibility to the city but we still have an uptick in crime."

Also on the ballot tomorrow is the Troup County splost.

The splost, or local option sales tax, will impact the three cities in Troup County -- LaGrange, West Point and Hogansville. If passed, the splost would last for a maximum of six years raising an estimated $70 million.

"It's huge projects that the city might be able to benefit from. It allows the city not to have to be to pay the money out of the city's budget and or the county," McCamey said.

Splost funding can only be used for new capital projects in the county such as the Thread trail, renovating roads and bridges, projects near West Point Lake and new fire stations.

"I think it's a great list of projects that our voters are being asked to approve," Mayor Thornton said.

The splost is a continuation of the one already in place in Troup County. Voting for the splost means a one percent sales and use tax will be imposed in the county.

The splost will also impact tourists because many projects deal with attractions in the area and the roads people need to get to them.

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