Public meeting set for downtown transit project

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- A date has been set for what is being called an informational and educational meeting next week about a controversial downtown transit project, officials say.

City officials say that the meeting, set for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m., will feature representatives from the Georgia Department of Transportation which is managing the project and consultants who are working on the project. The meeting will be held at the Isabella Complex at 300 Cason St., officials say.

"This is more or less a an opportunity for the folks at GDOT to give an update on the project," Assistant City Manager James Taylor said. "They won't be gathering public input at this hearing, but those hearings are coming up in March and April."

The $9 million multimodal project was derailed after a local property owner, John Sherman, filed a complaint with the federal government alleging that that an environmental assessment that had been approved by GDOT and the Federal Transit Authority was flawed because it, among other things, failed to contain comments made during public hearings.

That letter, seconded by Dr. Charles Gillespie who wrote his own letter raising concerns about the project, prompted the FTA to rescind their original Finding of No Significant Impact forcing GDOT and the city to redo the environmental assessment, which includes a new round of public hearings.

Taylor said that there will be three additional meetings following the one Thursday where the public will be able to give their input on the project.