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Projects for road bond referendum set

Funding list targets major traffic arteries

POSTED: August 29, 2014 12:03 a.m.
 

FORSYTH COUNTY — The Forsyth County commission has finalized the list of projects that would be funded through a transportation bond, provided voters approve a referendum on the matter this fall.

Commissioners had previously approved placing the general obligation bond on the Nov. 4 ballot. However, the referendum question itself does not outline the project list.

The list approved 5-0 during a work session Tuesday includes five projects for which the county and Georgia Department of Transportation will be partners.

Those projects include widening of Ga. 400 from McFarland Parkway to at least Bald Ridge Marina Road; widening of Hwy. 371 from Hwy. 9 to Kelly Mill Road; widening of Hwy. 369 between Hwys. 9 and 306; and intersection improvements at Hwy. 306 and McGinnis Ferry Road at 400.

The other projects, which would be funded solely through county bond funds, are an extension of Ronald Reagan Boulevard from Majors Road to McFarland Parkway, and widening projects on McGinnis Ferry, Old Atlanta, Pilgrim Mill and Union Hill roads.

Also included on the list is a category for “traffic safety improvements.” Under that category are “potential intersection improvements” for several spots on Hwy. 369, 306, 9, 53 and 141 and Ga. 400.

Funding in that category could also be used for improvements such as signals, guardrails, sidewalks and resurfacing.

A transportation committee made up of some commissioners and county staff had worked for several weeks to put together the list.

On Tuesday, County Attorney Ken Jarrard said several of the projects on the list were “ongoing SPLOST obligations.”

SPLOST stands for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, and is a 1-cent tax used to fund various capital improvement projects.

“If you look at major road widenings on that list … you will see Brookwood, McGinnis Ferry Road, Union Hill and Old Atlanta,” he said. “The point simply being that what is on this list is either the end of our outstanding SPLOST obligations, except for McFarland Road, which is a project that will continue to be a hold-over project.

“But if you were to approve this list … that would clean us up with respect to all of our outstanding SPLOST obligations except for McFarland.”

Prior to the vote, there was some discussion about how the bond funding would be repaid.

“At some point, we need a resolution speaking to how we’re going to pay it back in order, I think, for the public to support it,” said Commissioner Brian Tam.

The commission plans to revisit that issue during upcoming work sessions.

 

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