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County seeks input on upcoming SPLOST

Gwinnett County is seeking public input on transportation projects that could be funded by the sales tax renewal that will go before voters in a referendum to be held on Nov. 5 of this year. Residents who are interested in participating on the Citizens Project Selection Committee are invited to attend an organizational meeting that will take place on Aug. 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the auditorium of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, located at 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.

“The purpose of the meeting is to select members and alternates to represent six major interest groups on the committee,” said Gwinnett Transportation Director Kim Conroy. Four members will represent homeowners (one from each commission district) and one representative each will represent the business community, environmental stakeholders, schools, civic organizations, and Gwinnett County’s seniors.
Georgia Power Co. facilitator Del Clark will moderate the meeting. Participants will split into groups and select representatives among themselves, according to Conroy.

“The committee’s immediate role will be to review and prioritize prospective project categories and to share information with the interest groups. In addition, members will help maintain an open line of communication between county government and the public and help maximize the benefits of the sales tax proceeds,” Conroy said.
Hundreds of letters are being sent this week inviting residents to attend the meeting and help spread the word. The letters are just one part of the plan to receive input, according to Board Chairman Charlotte Nash. “We need representation from all segments of the County, so we’re sending letters, talking to the media and sharing information through all the County’s communications channels, including the website,” said Nash.

The Board of Commissioners is expected on Tuesday to issue a call for a special purpose local option sales tax referendum to be placed on the Nov. 5 ballot. This new program focuses primarily on transportation but also includes funding for other purposes such as public safety, parks, libraries and senior facilities. If passed, it will take effect when the current SPLOST program expires next year on March 31. The new program would end in March 2017 and would raise an estimated $498 million in total. Gwinnett County will receive 78.9 percent of the proceeds and the cities in Gwinnett will receive 21.1 percent. The County has determined that 70 percent of its share, or an estimated $275 million, will be dedicated to transportation projects such as roads, bridges, intersection improvements and sidewalks.
For more information about the upcoming meeting, visit http://www.gwinnettcounty.comor call the Gwinnett Department of Transportation at (770) 822-7400.