Feds invest in Pooler. Here's how city will spend $8 million in infrastructure funding.


Road improvements, wastewater treatment center expansion planned for fast-growing municipality

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Chatham voters rejected TSPLOST at the polls. What comes next?

City Talk columnist Bill Dawers talks about TSPLOST being rejected by Chatham County voters and what that’ll mean for infrastructure projects in town.

Savannah Morning News

The City of Pooler is getting $8 million in federal funds that will go towards major infrastructure improvement projects at the top of the ever-growing suburban community’s list.

Over the last decade, nearly 10,000 new residents flocked to Pooler. As the city continues to grow, so does the need to improve the city’s roads, highways and water and sewer systems.

The $8 million infusion was passed in December by the U.S. Congress as a community funding request within the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler), who championed the request, said the funding marks an important win for Pooler.

“Pooler has been my home since 1980,” said Carter, who previously served as the city’s mayor for eight years, “We’ve had tremendous growth in that area and we’re going to continue to have tremendous growth along that I-16 corridor. That’s why these community funding request projects are so important.”

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Four different projects will receive a portion of the federal funds: improvements for Quacco Road, Pine Barren Road, South Rogers Street and the wastewater treatment plant, which is being expanded. Each project will receive about $2 million each, said Pooler Mayor Rebecca Benton.

“The city is most pleased to receive the $8 million,” Benton wrote in an email, “particularly since the TSPLOST failed.”

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The Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or TSPLOST was a referendum on the November 2022 ballot that lost narrowly by 1.3%. Had TSPLOST passed and increased the county’s sales tax by 1%, the tariff would have generated approximately $500 million for infrastructure improvements throughout the county over a five-year period.

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“These are good projects,” said Carter, “Pooler is growing in leaps and bounds and is a city rich in heritage and tradition, but our greatest times lie ahead of us.”

Road improvements include widening and pedestrian improvements such as sidewalks. The funds won’t cover the total costs for all four projects but will accelerate preliminary engineering work and right-of-way acquisition.

Nancy Guan is the general assignment reporter covering Chatham County municipalities. Reach her at nguan@gannett.com or on Twitter @nancyguann.