(ATLANTA - Dec 16, 2010)
On Friday, December 17, metro Atlanta begins a process that could allow its residents to greatly expand their transportation options in the future.
The Regional Roundtable for the Atlanta region, created by the Transportation Investment Act of 2010 (HB 277), will hold its first official meeting on Friday. HB 277, passed by the Georgia General Assembly in 2010, allows 12 regions throughout the state to vote in 2012 on a 10-year, one-cent sales tax for transportation improvements. Before voters go to the polls, the Regional Roundtable will develop a list of projects that would be funded by the sales tax revenue so that citizens know exactly what they are voting on.
The Regional Roundtable consists of the chairmen of nine county commissions, the CEO of DeKalb County, one mayor from each county and the Mayor of Atlanta. The counties represented on the Atlanta region’s roundtable are Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale.
The first meeting of the Atlanta Regional Roundtable, called by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Friday at the Atlanta Regional Commission, Loudermilk Center, 40 Courtland Street in downtown Atlanta. At this meeting, Regional Roundtable members will:
- Review specifics of the law
- Determine guidelines for Roundtable activity and decision-making
- Appoint a five-member Executive Committee that will develop a project list and present it to the full Roundtable for approval
- Review and approve a list of criteria that projects must meet to be eligible for funding
- Determine the next steps for the Roundtable and the Executive Committee
GDOT will initially create a “wish list” of projects based on the Roundtable-approved criteria. And then, the Executive Committee will narrow it down to a list of projects that:
- can be completed with the amount of revenue the tax is expected to raise, and
- can be supported by voters throughout the region.
That list of potential projects will be completed and presented by the Executive Committee to the full Roundtable for adoption by October of 2011. Once approved by the Roundtable, the project list will be presented to the public for review before the referendum in August 2012.
The Regional Transportation Referendum, if passed, could generate an estimated $6 billion to $7 billion over the course of a 10-year period. In addition to regional traffic relief projects, each county will receive 15 percent of the revenue it raises each year for local, discretionary projects. This revenue may be spent on any local transportation projects or services the local governments wish to fund.
More information about the Regional Roundtable membership, timeline and criteria is available at /hb277.