In a news statement released Tuesday, the group says they want the governor to “honor his 2010 pledge to remove the Ga. 400 toll, the only mandatory road toll in Georgia history.”
The group held a news conference Tuesday, where they displayed copies of the original 1989 Atlanta City Ordinance and Georgia Department of Transportation agreement.
According to the statement released by Free GA, “The toll was required to be removed upon repayment of construction bonds for the Ga. 400 extension and the Buckhead loop,” and “toll revenue was only allowed to be spent for those projects, both of which are inside the I-285 perimeter.”
The statement goes onto say “construction costs were repaid in 2009 and over $40 million in surplus funds had been collected by the State Road and Tollway Authority when the original bond matured in 2011. But in September of 2010, Governor Perdue convinced the SRTA board to issue a new $40 million bond for Buckhead interchange ramps and other new, unrelated projects. Free GA 400 contends that the $40 million bond was unnecessary to fund the $21 million Buckhead interchange ramps since SRTA already had about $50 million in cash, assets and 2011 receivables at the time.”
The group says SRTA, as of now, has enough money to “pay for completion of the Buckhead interchange ramps, open a trust or interest bearing account to repay all current bond principal,” and “fund now all bond interest that will accrue until the 2017 maturity date
In their letter to Deal, Free GA 400 says that to end the toll now, the governor “needs to make a decision to suspend the new, unrelated projects until they can be funded by normal means. These projects violate the original agreements since they have nothing to do with the GA 400 extension or Buckhead loop.”
The group also requested “liquidation of a $10 million 17th St. property purchased under Gov. Roy Barnes 2002 even though it had nothing to do with Ga. 400.”