The Gordon County Board of Commissioners approved a list of county transportation improvement projects at the request of the state to be submitted no later than March 30. The list will now be sent to the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission to be considered for placement on the regional list of projects.
According to Randy Dowling, county administrator, the Georiga Department of Transportation (GDOT) is requesting a considerable amount of information from the county in preparation for the TSPLOST referendum. Voters will see the referendum on the ballot in Aug. 2012.
This financially unconstrained list included projects such as a new interchange at Interstate 75/County Road 56-Union Grove Road and the construction of a parallel taxiway and additional hangers at the Calhoun Airport.
“Some (projects) may make it, some may not. None of them might make it,” said Dowling about the chance that Gordon’s projects make the final constrained list of projects.
The 10 projects on the county’s list were required to meet guidelines laid out by the NWGRC roundtable. These guidelines included stipulations that projects must be from existing plans and/or studies and that roadway capital projects serve origins/destinations of trips to, from or within the major employment areas and activity centers throughout the northwest Georgia region.
“This (TSPLOST) really will impact the whole state, particularly the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission,” said Comissioner Alvin Long.
If voters opt in November of this year to keep the current SPLOST, the sales tax rate will remain at seven percent. The TSPLOST will be voted on in the 2012 referendum as a region, not individually by county. Therefore, if the referendum passes in the region, TSPLOST will be imposed on Gordon Countians, bringing the sales tax rate up another one percent.
In addition to having these projects funded by GDOT, Gordon County is expecting to receive $1.7 million annually for 10 years for upkeep of county roads, said Dowling. This money is a quarter percentage of the penny tax and will given to each county to use for projects which did not make the final, constrained list.
According to GDOT, Georgia is the third fastest-growing state, but the second to last state in per capita spending on transportation.
The county also began the budget process on March 1, according to Dowling, with budget completion expected in June.
“It’s going to be a very tough budget year,” he said to the commissioners.
“We are facing one of our most difficult years,” said Chairperson Judy Bailey. “… we are going to continue doing business, operating our county and keeping people working. We’re going to keep moving forward.”
Also during their March 1 meeting, the board:
County proposed TSPLOST projects: