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Marietta hosts TSPLOST forum; city releases proposed 25% list

ALBANY, Ga. — City officials have released a tentative sketch of how they might spend the city's portion of 25 percent discretionary funding linked to a transportation sales tax initiative.

The list is tentative and would have to be approved by the Albany City Commission before becoming final, but it includes millions of dollars for road resurfacing projects across the city, the widening of Pointe North Boulevard from Dawson Road to Old Dawson Road, intersection improvements and traffic signal improvements.

The list also includes maintenance and repair of the East Broad underpass bridge, sidewalk repair and installation across the city, and alley paving.

The special-purpose local-option transportation sales tax referendum is on the July 31 ballot for Southwest Georgians. If approved, the additional 1 percent sales tax is expected to generate $530 million for the 14-county Southwest Georgia region over the next 10 years.

Contracting, financial safeguards and priorities were the primary questions asked by those who attended a T-SPLOST forum hosted by Ward IV City Commissioner Roger Marietta and Darton's Democrat, Independent, Republican Team Wednesday.

Hamp Smith, a former coach and community activist, said the region could ill afford to wait any longer to widen State Highway 133 and that the project should be among the first started if the referendum passes.

"I've talked to a few truck drivers, and they catch holy hell coming in on 133," Smith said. "We need it widened all the way to (Interstate) 75. One thirty-three is priority one."

Another person, who didn't identify himself, said he wanted to know what safeguards were in place to ensure that local contractors, especially minorities, would get an opportunity at the contracts.

Marietta said that at least one of the regional projects involved construction at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport and that any airport construction requires that a certain percentage of the subcontracting work be done by minority contractors.

Other than that, Marietta noted, it's a matter of the lowest, most qualified bidder on each project.

Another person asked why the state hadn't considered limiting this tax to businesses rather than passing along the tax to people who can't afford it.

The full forum will be aired on local cable access channel 19 at a time yet to be determined.

Comments

KaosinAlbany 1 year, 9 months ago

Why would the city just now release this list when early voting started last week. That really isn't fair to the voters who would like to see the list first? This should have been released at least a month ago. As a voter, this is very concerning. Plus, this is only a tenative list. So you don't know if what you think you are voting for could be subject to change.

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Albanite 1 year, 9 months ago

Not once in the history of Georgia has a SPLOST been spent as advertised. Not once.

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Engineer 1 year, 9 months ago

You obviously didn't see the E-SPLOST advertising a couple years ago.

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thedeepend 1 year, 9 months ago

Let me stir the pot a little, so wonderbread is saying only the airport has minority contractor guarantees and the rest is up in the air? I know, not entirely true, but funny he doesn't know better after all these years warming a commission seat. You get what you elect folks. Partner our tax & spend group with the chamber and you have a potent offense to deceive the voting public into a massive tax increase in exchange for a handful of temporary jobs that have a great possibility of being contracted outside of the region.

I can cut this spending in half easily. Just widen the roads heading out of Albany since those are the ones in heaviest demand.

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Thurman 1 year, 9 months ago

So now we know that only 25% of the T-SPLOST monies collected within Dougherrty County will be used locally, and the powers-to-be do not have a list ready to show the public where the monies will be spent. Hmmmm, 75% of Dougherty County monies going to the metro-Atlanta area to build more congestion there. NOPE ! ! I'm voting NO.

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Engineer 1 year, 9 months ago

A blatant lie. The money collected here does not go to metro-Atlanta projects. All money goes to projects from the region it was collected. Here it is, straight from the law itself:

(§48-8-249.) “(a) The proceeds received from the tax authorized by this article shall be used within the

778 special district receiving proceeds of the tax exclusively for the projects on the approved

779 investment list for such district as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 48-8-243.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 9 months ago

There is NOTHING legal about this tax. Check out The Albany Journal this week and find out why. : )

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Albanite 1 year, 9 months ago

Why are we talking about spending when we need to be discussing how we will REDUCE spending to lower the tax burden on everyone. Is Marietta so tone deaf to the rising anger in this town that he is still talking about increasing government spending? Seriously, is he THAT stupid? Vote NO on tsplost.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 9 months ago

He is two faced and used his fake profiles expressing his disgust for the tax a few months ago.

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Albanite 1 year, 9 months ago

Now THAT would be an interesting article for the Herald to write about!

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wonderbread 1 year, 9 months ago

Watch the forum at 6 pm on Channel 19 this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and you will see the whole story - the T-SPLOST was not pushed at the forum - it was fair and balanced. Many negative "con" issues were also discussed.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 9 months ago

Perfect example here - Marietta's fake profile.

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Progressive 1 year, 9 months ago

Glad to hear someone is advocating letting the minorities have a slice of the pie. By the way the ratio for DoCo is 67.1 % Black and 29.6% White. So by definition of a minority group, it looks like the Whites are the ones they are talking about to have preferential treatment for jobs

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Albanite 1 year, 9 months ago

Not on this planet. In Government math, $900 billion really means $2.6 Trillion, TSPLOST is good for the economy, and 67% is a minority.

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Progressive 1 year, 9 months ago

Albanite, you must have taken Math courses at ASU, or you are one of the many Albanite's who dropped out of High School.

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Albanite 1 year, 9 months ago

Like most progressives, you can't read. (hint: SARCASM!)

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Progressive 1 year, 9 months ago

Got it. Just like the name I use on this blog (same hint if you are as smart as I think you are).

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whattheheck 1 year, 9 months ago

Beat the drums and blow the bugles all you won't--I won't vote for it.

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Cartman 1 year, 9 months ago

  1. Vote NO.
  2. SPLOST taxes are like feeding puppies. Once you start, you can never quit.
  3. How did we pay for road paving before TSPLOST? So we get to keep paying those taxes and vote ourselves a new one?
  4. Why give more money to politicians who squander public funds?
  5. Voting ourselves a new additional tax during these economic times is plain idiotic.
  6. This will just be another minority contractor support fund. No thanks.
  7. Vote NO.
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FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

TSPLOST has to be looked at closely. If the money is going to be spent in our area I will vote against it. If it is going to be spent here to improve commerce and employment, I am going to vote for it. Wonderbread not withstanding. His real name is Milquetoast.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

Above note, 2nd sentence should read "If the money is not going to be spent in our area I will vote against it." FT

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Engineer 1 year, 9 months ago

FryarTuk, in an earlier post above, I quoted where it says it in the law that all money collected in this region (Region 10), will be spent in this region (§48-8-249). Here is a list of the regional projects: http://www.it3.ga.gov/Documents/FinalList/Southwest-FinalInvestmentList.pdf

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dingleberry 1 year, 9 months ago

This list is the biggest grab bag of nothing I have seen in awhile which reinforces my feeling that I don't want to be one of the payers. Sidewalk and bicycle improvements in Lee County will do little to promote commerce and create jobs. Seems to be more of a matter of "we have money, how would you spend it" rather than valid needs in many cases.

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Engineer 1 year, 9 months ago

The sidewalk/bicycle stuff for Leesburg is from downtown to the high school. (.75 miles; Project # RC10-000047) and from 4th St to Lee County High School Ninth Grade Campus (1.4 miles; Project # RC10-000050)

Those two projects you refer to are small, relatively cheap projects to help improve safety for kids walking/biking to and from school in Leesburg. http://www.velag.org/10_southwest-invlist.pdf

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whattheheck 1 year, 9 months ago

If it is safety and cheap, why is it on a list of what one would think would be major projects to be done in 10 years? Still looks more like "what can we do" not "what do we need", something to give the voters a bone they can relate to.

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Engineer 1 year, 9 months ago

So in other words..... I can't deny that that it has a good use for the money, so I'll complain about it having a good use. Brilliant argument! Excuse me while I facepalm.

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Albanite 1 year, 9 months ago

Engineer - this is straight from Atlanta: "TSPLOST alone cannot raise the money needed to complete transporation infrastructure improvements. TSPLOST is needed to fund the studies and engineering for these projects. The funds for the actual improvements will come from bond issuances."

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Engineer 1 year, 9 months ago

Albanite, how about some citation? Just saying "straight from Atlanta" doesn't cut it.

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dingleberry 1 year, 9 months ago

The first project on the list in DoCo is the Clark AV extension from Maple to Jefferson. Another road, another unneeded bridge across the Flint. Something I saw earlier put a $90 million price tag on this monster. For the life of me, I can't understand why this one is even proposed much less claimed to be needed.

This one will be like running the gauntlet and we can name it the "Ghetto Legacy Trail" or the "Johnnie Johnson Trail to Tears". Perhaps a better use for the money would be to make 19 North six lane so folks can move to Lee faster and shorten the daily commute when the move is completed.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 9 months ago

A little food for thought. The 25% of the funds collected are to be used by local politicians as Discretionary funds. Marietta published a proposed list but stated it is SUBJECT to change. Just remember it is going to be left to their discretion and we all know how well they have used their discretion. We see how well that is working for the Taxpayers. Raise our Property Tax then skimming off funds to support businesses that CAN NOT generate support in the community to keep them alive, river aquarium, civil rights museum, chehaw and on and on. How about the Commissioners be Leaders for a change and donate 100% of their salaries and money out of their own pockets if they feel Albany need these money pits. Lead by example and stop leading with our tax dollars. Put YOUR MONEY where your mouths are and stay out of our pockets for your slush funds.

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