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Sidewalks a priority if Roswell gets local T-SPLOST dollars
by Joan Durbin
July 11, 2012 04:25 PM | 2085 views | 11 11 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the July 31 vote on the Transportation Investment Act looms, many Georgia cities and counties have still not identified ways in which they would spend the local money authorized by the referendum if it passes.

Some major projects are already set in stone on the TSPLOST list for funding. In Roswell, the TSPLOST would pay for a complete revamp of the Holcomb Bridge Road/Ga. 400 interchange, eliminating the reversible lane on Ga. Hwy 9 as part of its Gateway Project from the Chattahoochee River to Marietta Highway, and joining Alpharetta and Milton to make improvements on Houze Road.

Those projects would account for around $48 million. But Roswell would also get a 15 percent local government distribution of TSPLOST funds amounting to around $1.9 million annually for 10 years, and on Monday night, Mayor Jere Wood asked council to determine what they would like to do with the funds.

“This would let citizens know that if they should approve the referendum, how we might spend that money,” he said.

The TSPLOST, also known as the TIA referendum, would allow a new 1 percent special local sales tax in 12 separate districts in the state.

The money raised could be spent only for design and construction of transportation projects in that district.

Transportation Director Steve Acenbrak mentioned a few possible candidates for Roswell’s local share, such as installing sidewalks and a multi-use trail on Ga. Hwy 92 all the way from Roswell’s borders on the east and west, or building sidewalks from all schools in Roswell to the nearest parks.

One potential project, endorsed by Councilwoman Betty Price, the council’s transportation liaison, would be a bridge over Holcomb Bridge Road at Eves Road to connect schools with East Roswell Park and the soon-to-be-built new library.

The mayor said he wanted to identify at least one project that the city could begin if the annual funds became available.

“I don’t want to commit for 10 years out. I’d like to leave some flexibility for future councils,” Wood said. “But I’d like to develop a short term plan, maybe a four to five year plan, and at the top of my list would be a sidewalk on Holcomb Bridge Road on at least one side all the way to the Gwinnett County line.”

Acenbrak said council could also decide to allot the annual funds to three different “pots” for projects to be determined later. Those categories would be for sidewalks, congestion relief and redevelopment support.

That was the direction a majority of council wanted to go. “I’d like to keep things more fluid,” said Councilwoman Becky Wynn.

With council members Nancy Diamond and Jerry Orlans absent, council approved Price’s motion that if the T-SPLOST does pass, Roswell’s 15 percent local share will go into the three pots for future use in those categories, with an emphasis on sidewalks.
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