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South Fulton leaders talk TSPLOST
by Nneka M. Okona
nokona@neighbornewspapers.com
July 10, 2012 01:23 PM | 974 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In exactly two weeks, residents throughout South Fulton will head to the polls, determining the fate of the transportation special purpose local option sales tax.

TSPLOST, a referendum brought to the table by the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, will give local communities around the state the ability to use a one cent sales tax to sponsor an already identified list of transportation projects.

If the referendum indeed does pass, local leaders certainly have their opinions on what the impact will be in the South Fulton area.

Ann Ray, president of the Airport Area Chamber of Commerce, said the passage of the referendum would be positive.

“This affects all forms of transportation and has an impact on every industry — hotels, airport and restaurants,” she said. “If we can cut down on travel time from one place to another, it will also help the tourism aspect.”

Ray, as a Fulton County resident, is in favor of the TSPLOST.

“This is for the economic viability not only for our region but for our state,” she said. “We don’t live on an island by ourselves. We have to be able to compete and we can’t compete if we don’t improve our infrastructure.”

Sandy Hardy, founder of the South Fulton Community Improvement District, is in favor of the referendum but does not believe votes will sway in the right direction.

“Every election, every four years, they bring something up for us to vote on as far as transportation is concerned,” she said. “I am fearful that this is going to be voted down, too.”

Hardy said she certainly sees the value TSPLOST would bring if passed, although she also has concerns that the right people were not selected for the Roundtable, which determined the list of transportation projects.

Part of her involvement with the CID includes attracting developers to the area, especially along Fulton Industrial Boulevard.

In recent years, she said, developers are beginning to have more restored faith in bringing businesses there.

“We’ve got a lot of developers that have already brought in companies, like Johnson and Johnson,” said Hardy.

“They are still here. I think that economic development is on the upswing. We’ve got to remain a little positive.”

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