Atlanta residents to get say on regional transportation list

| Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A special panel in Atlanta recently signed off on a $6.1 billion “wish list” of transportation projects in the 10-county region. But more work needs to be done ahead of a public vote on the issue.

The executive committee of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable agreed this month on a first draft of highway and transit projects that would get attention through a proposed regional sales tax.

Before the full 21-member roundtable of mayors and county commissioners from the area can make a final decision on the project list, the public will get their say on the more than 100 proposed projects.

The first of 12 public meetings in the Atlanta region is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 7, in Douglas County. Additional meetings will be held throughout the area before the project list must be finalized on Oct. 15.

Once complete, voters in the affected counties will cast ballots on the proposed 1 cent sales tax increase to fund road, bridge and transit projects during the next decade. Despite efforts at the statehouse to move back the date, the issue is slated to be on the 2012 presidential primary ballot.

The tax is expected to raise about $7 billion. All but about $1 billion of the revenue would be devoted to the regional project list. The rest of the money could be spent by counties and cities on various transportation projects.

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