Investment in the future
Joey Roberts (left) chats with Ray Cann after the Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues event. (Photo by Jones)
Georgia Department of Transportation Director of Planning Joey Roberts said Thursday that Elbert County’s investment in infrastructure is an investment that will help assure Elbert County parents their kids will come back home to live.
And, in the Eggs and Issues forum sponsored by the Elbert County Chamber of Commerce and hosted by Athens Technical College’s Elbert County campus, Roberts said a ‘yes’ vote on March 19 for a transportation special purpose local option sales tax (TSPLOST) would be a step toward bolstering infrastructure in Elbert County.
“An investment in infrastructure – and that is what TSPLOST is – is an investment for the future of Elbert County,” said Roberts, a former South Georgia legislator who was named DOT’s Planning Director by former Governor Nathan Deal. “Infrastructure improvement leads to jobs and economic development and that makes it easier for (kids) to come back home.”
This week early voting on the March 19 referendum for TSPLOST enters its third week, and Roberts gave a presentation on TSPLOST for individual counties.
He also answered any questions related to the TSPLOST for a crowd of about 55 people.
Early voting ends Friday and polls will be open county-wide March 19 from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
If the TSPLOST is approved, the taxes would be collected after an 80-day waiting period and would be collected for the next five years.
Roberts said 30 percent of the roads improved by the TSPLOST would have to be on the county’s STIP (State Transportation Improvement Plan).
The funds would be split between Elbert County, Elberton and Bowman based on a intragovernmental agreement approved by the three governmental entities.
Elbert County Administrator Bob Thomas said there are 81 counties in Georgia who have approved this single-county transportation sales tax. He added that improvements on three bridges have been approved and paid for by the state and that the state has also paid or striping and road signage throughout Elbert County.