Jackson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Crow and Commissioner Dwain Smith are questioning the financial reporting on the emergency medical service station under construction in West Jackson.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Crow and Smith expressed their concern about what they call an effort to hide spending on the EMS station under construction along Lewis Braselton Boulevard just east of Interstate 85. They point to a lawsuit filed in an effort to stop work on the station.
Work was stopped by court order, but Judge David Motes authorized work to begin again when the attorney for the plaintiffs did not appear for the hearing. Crow asked to speak on behalf of the plaintiffs although he, as a commissioner, is a defendant. The judge rejected that request.
Crow said he is motivated by his campaign promise to be a good steward of the taxpayers’ money.
“We know that many citizens have asked questions about the lawsuit filed against the Board of Commissioners concerning special purpose local option sales tax projects,” Crow and Smith said in a statement. They contend “the intent of the lawsuit was to stop overspending.”
Armed with information provided by residents, Crow and Smith said they have been asking questions and researching the spending of SPLOST IV and V funds, including the required annual accounting reports that have not been published.
“After receiving the information, we verified by asking questions. We did not feel comfortable bringing the results to the citizens until now,” Crow and Smith said in the statement. “The last time that we brought forth information from an employee about a questionable paving project, that employee was fired.”
At issue is the $453,881 being reported as spent on the West Jackson station.
Crow and Smith suggest that more than $1.3 million has been put toward the project.
County Manager Kevin Poe said different ways of accounting are being used in compiling project costs. He said he would have more information Monday.