Douglas County officials are hoping to receive funding from the Atlanta Regional Commission that will enable the county to construct of a multi-use path from to and a bridge over Highway 92.
voted 3-2 to apply for LCI implementation funds with Commissioners Ann Jones Guider and Mike Mulcare dissenting. Guider said she’s not against sidewalks and wishes there were sidewalks throughout the county; however, she said her district is full of dirt roads and pot holes in the roads that are paved.
“My objection is at this time and the economy the way it is, I would like to see our funds directed toward roads because that’s where our weakness is right now,” she said. “That’s something that everybody would reap the benefits from roads rather than sidewalks.”
Mulcare said that he has a proven record for supporting trails and sidewalks but does “share Commissioner Guider’s concerns about the timing of this and monetary obligation at a time when our whole country is struggling and our homeowners are struggling.”
If the county received funding for the $2.8 million project, it would be required to fund 20 percent of the project cost, which is $560,000 over a three-year period.
But, balance is the key to life, Commissioner Kelly Robinson said, and its important for the BOC to determine what’s important to county in collective sense.
“We try to extend the quality of life so there’s a little bit of everything,” Robinson said. “I think it’s something we should move forward with, at least with the application.”
BOC Chairman Tom Worthan said that this project would give the county the opportunity to develop corridor and bring in the type of business and residential development that dc needs.
“And, as far as the roads, there’s no doubt Commission Guider that we do need upkeep on roads,” Worthan said. “But, I remind you, this $2.8 million we’re not going to get anyway to pave roads.”
The county tried for five years to get an LCI grant for the Lithia Springs/Sweetwater Road corridor.
“These are very competitive grants,” Worthan said. “This won’t affect the budget until 2013. Hopefully the economy might recover somewhat between them. And, I agree, if we get this grant, we need to run with it. In the long run, we can improve the economic development structure of Douglas County and provide more jobs and increase our tax base with this kind of development in that corridor.”
The BOC also voted to apply for TIGER 3 grant for the Lee Road Extension project, which officials say will create an East-West Connector in Douglas County. The extension will pick up at Lee Road’s dead end at Fairburn Road and pass several neighborhoods before connecting with Chapel Hill Road. The project will cost approximately $15 million with the county required to provide a 20 percent match. The estimated construction time is three years.