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Monday, October 10, 2011 - 4:50am

Transportation Project Lists Nearly All In

The final project lists for Georgia's 12 transportation regions are nearly all in. And with the submission deadline approaching this Saturday, only four districts have not yet officially signed-off on their lists.

The Heart of Georgia region is one of them, but it's only a formality. Mount Vernon mayor Joey Fountain is a member of the 17-county district's Roundtable, which meets on Thursday.

He says there's agreement among most of his colleagues that all cities and counties in his region would benefit from money brought-in from a penny sales tax. And officials are especially excited for the discretionary money that would be collected. 

"The 25-percent money might be more than they get for their regular budgets, so that really helps them from having to raise taxes to support some of that."

Fountain says three public hearings on project lists for the Heart of Georgia region were sparsely attended last month.

The project lists in the Southern, Central Savannah, and Atlanta regions also await final approval.

The eight other districts have completed the public meeting process and Roundtable votes. In the Georgia Mountains region, roundtable member and Carnesville mayor Harris Little says four public hearings last month brought out few residents.

"Probably not more than 10 or 12 that made a formal comment, but all the comments other than the one were positive. And most of the conversation that I've had about it with anybody who happened to be in the room or just in general has been fairly positive."

Voters statewide will decide next year whether to approve a penny tax to fund transportation projects in their districts.

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