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Town hall meeting today to explain T-SPLOST

6 p.m. at Jabez Sanford Hardin Theater in Evans library

Posted: June 3, 2012 - 12:05am  |  Updated: June 6, 2012 - 7:34am
The widening of Robinson Avenue in Grovetown is one of eight highway projects to be discussed at a meeting in Evans.  Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The widening of Robinson Avenue in Grovetown is one of eight highway projects to be discussed at a meeting in Evans.

Twitter @ValerieRowell

Local officials are holding a meeting today to discuss the upcoming transportation sales tax referendum.

The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and county leaders will lead the Transportation Investment Act town hall meeting at 6 p.m. today at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans.

“(Residents) are going to really learn how it was developed, what road projects will be identified and why they should support it,” Chamber President Tammy Shepherd said.

The proposed additional 1-percent sales tax, or T-SPLOST, will be on the July 31 ballot. All funds collected will go toward transportation projects identified by local leaders.

Residents in each of 12 Georgia regions can approve or deny the T-SPLOST in their districts. The Central Savannah River District is made up of 13 counties, including Columbia and Richmond.

If passed, the referendum will provide $621 million over 10 years for the entire region, and fund eight Columbia County projects that leaders prioritized at discussions last summer.

That list includes the extension of Riverwatch Parkway to Washington Road; the widening and improvement of Robinson Avenue in Grovetown; the widening of Flowing Wells Road; widening Lewiston Road and Horizon South Parkway; and replacing the bridge and improving the Interstate 20 interchange at Appling-Harlem Highway.

“These are the major corridors for our community,” Shepherd said. “That’s why it’s so important.”

The county’s population grew 35 percent – about 38,000 residents – in the past decade, Shepherd noted.

Officials expect that $840 million will be collected in the CSRA region over 10 years. Because that is 25 percent more than the total of the project list, the remaining money will be divvied up between the counties in the region as discretionary funds that leaders can use for additional transportation projects, Shepherd said.

Shepherd said, if approved, the resulting improved travel routes will attract more economic growth. The upgrades are vital, she said, as infrastructure to support the increased freight traffic from the deepening of Savannah Harbor.

“It is a fair tax,” Shepherd said.

A second town hall meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on July 24 at the government center auditorium.

 

IF YOU GO

What: Transportation Investment Act town hall meeting

When: 6 p.m. today - Wednesday, June 6

Where: Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center

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Comments (3)

Riverman1

Ms. Shepherd, realize adding

Ms. Shepherd, realize adding one cent to the sales tax is a huge increase percentage wise. Be ever vigilant as government adds taxes in these tough economic times or any time. They never go away. In addition this 13 county region will be dominated by Richmond County with their projects. What we will have is another nebulous level of government controlling our money above the county. It will be hard to find anyone to hold accountable. NO!!!

Many Arrows

Liar, liar, pants on FIRE

$840 million is a LIE. It is what DOT, the "economists" and the Chambers of Commerce call their "base case" estimate. Trouble is this estimate is based upon WILDLY inflated and demonstrably unachievable numbers in the early years, compounded in the out years. WORSE, their "low estimate" shows an inflation-adjusted figure of $689 million but that is still TOO HIGH. The "low forecast" has 6.2% income growth for 2012, but Ga Tech says we will see 3.3%. Bottom line - your $840 million is about $200 million to high. Quit lying to people - the Chamber needs members, not ENRON ACCOUNTING!

Grovetownresident72

Robinson Av widening project

Will land be taken from homeowners along Robinson Avenue? Will our property values decrease? Many residents along Robinson Av are retired military and elderly, and long-time residents of this city.

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