Cities, county to get briefing on regional 1¢ sales tax proposal

Representatives of each local government in Fayette County will get a briefing this Wednesday night about the process of compiling transportation projects for a proposed regional sales tax that will be voted on in 2012.

The meeting will take place at Fayetteville City Hall at 7 p.m. (July 20) and the public can attend.

Officials from the Atlanta Regional Commission are slated to make the presentation.

The list of projects is being voted on by a 21-member “roundtable” that includes two elected officials from each county. Fayette is represented by County Commission Chairman Herb Frady and Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele.

One of the more significant projects up for funding is a variety of improvements to the interchange of Ga. Highway 74 and Interstate 85 in Fairburn, which is where traffic chokes both in the morning and afternoon commuting times.

Also still up for potential funding are:

• The realignment of Ga. Highway 92 north as it comes into downtown Fayetteville;

• Widening Ga. Highway 85 south of Fayetteville from Grady Avenue downtown to Bernhard Road;

• A gateway golf cart path bridge on Hwy. 54 West at MacDuff Parkway near the city limits;

• Golf cart path connections for the southern tip of the Peachtree City industrial park; and

• The widening of Hwy. 92 south of Fayetteville from Jimmie Mayfield Boulevard to McBride Road.

Also still on the list is the East Fayetteville Bypass, which would arc around Fayetteville running from Hwy. 85 north of town along Corinth Road, but the project assumes the road will spill out on Hwy. 85 south which so far has not been in the plans for the project.

A new project on these list added by state officials is a connector road between Hwy. 92 and Ga. Highway 138 near Union City. The project has a cost estimate of $18.3 million. According to the project datasheet, the road could be accomplished by widening Peters Road to four lanes. Peters Road and Lester Road are among the most-used “shortcuts” for those seeking access to the I-85 in Union City.

But there is more cutting to do on the list before it is finalized for consideration by voters region-wide in June 2012.

The catch about the tax is that even if it is voted down by Fayette voters, if it is approve on the aggregate vote region-wide, the tax will still be assessed here.

The tax is proposed for a 10-year period and will fund not just road projects here but also transit projects elsewhere in metro Atlanta. There are no bus or rail projects proposed for Fayette County under consideration.