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Transportation bond referendum makes ballot

Voters to decide measure Nov. 4

POSTED: August 15, 2014 12:03 a.m.
 

FORSYTH COUNTY — Voters will get to decide if they want Forsyth County to initiate bond funding for road projects.

During a work session Tuesday, county commissioners voted 5-0 to place a general obligation bond referendum on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot.

That action was followed by a called meeting Wednesday of the Board of Elections, which signed off on the measure and the wording of the ballot question.

Commissioners have been discussing the possibility of the transportation bond for some time. And they’re still finalizing a list of possible projects that the measure, if it passes, would fund.

But in order to have time to get it on the November ballot, they had to approve a resolution expressing their intent Tuesday.

The referendum question itself does not go into detail of specific projects, but rather asks voters if they will agree to up to $200 million in bond funding for “the purpose of financing the acquisition, construction, installation, equipping and improvements of county and state-owned roads, streets, bridges and sidewalks, the costs of issuing the bonds and capitalized interest on the bonds.”

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said Wednesday that it was his understanding that the county commission does plan to finalize a list of projects that would receive funds from the bond in the near future.

“I do believe, based upon what I heard at the last work session, that the board of commissioners is going to prepare a finalized project list and try to provide that list — the board of commissioners can’t advertise of course — but if there is a set project list, we can provide information to the voters,” he said.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Cindy J. Mills asked when the project list would be adopted.

“We need to start planning town hall meetings and getting the word out to the public,” she said.

Commission Chairman Pete Amos said officials would discuss the project at their next work session, which is set for 2 p.m. Aug. 26.

A transportation committee comprised of some commissioners and county staff has been working on the list for some time.

During a recent committee meeting, the members said the projects likely would include an extension of Ronald Reagan Boulevard from Majors Road to McFarland Parkway; and widening projects on Old Atlanta, Pilgrim Mill and Union Hill roads.

The list also includes a category for “traffic safety improvements,” that could be used for projects such as intersection improvements, signals, guardrails, sidewalks and resurfacing.

Some of the suggested intersections include: Mount Tabor, Old Federal and Pooles Mill roads at Hwy. 369; Jot Em Down and Martin roads at 400; Campground and Martin roads, Smith Lane and Dogwood Path at Hwy. 9; and Ronald Reagan Blvd. and Old Alpharetta Road at Hwy. 141.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has agreed to be partners with the county on several state projects, provided the referendum passes.

Those include widening: Ga. 400 from McFarland Parkway to at least Bald Ridge Marina Road; Hwy. 371 from Hwy. 9 to Kelly Mill Road; Hwy. 369 between Hwys. 9 and 306.

It also includes intersection improvements along Hwy. 306 and where McGinnis Ferry Road meets Ga. 400.

 

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