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5-11-05 Georgia 316, Economic Development, Money, Barrow & Oconee Counties

A B-H: BBPA, Oconee Consultants:  â€¦â€¦. the local government should create a separate economic development department to oversee all of the county's economic development operations. .. This department would orchestrate a myriad of volunteer citizen committees …….

Leaders should concentrate on sites along Ga. 316, Basile said. …"It makes sense because it's a major linkage in the state,"

AVOC

 April 30, 2005

 

Georgia 316, Economic Development, Money, Barrow & Oconee Counties

 

By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.

 

While the Barrow and Oconee leadership is talking about new jails, courthouses, recreation etc, GA 316 is out there and needs some attention and money.

 

GA DOT Board Member Kulke of Augusta and some GADOT engineers and staff folks visited Barrow County and discussed GA 316.  See:  Barrow County News of April 24.

 

The visitors agreed that GA 316, University Parkway, is an important corridor and needs to be upgraded.  It was also pointed out that this has been a long-time goal of GA DOT.   The big problem continues to be the need for money and lots of it.

 

The Winder visit did point out the need for local support and funding to make things happen.  The GA DOT folks told Barrow County folks that Gwinnett County had been using local funds and SPLOST to upgrade its Intersections.   The state can help but needs local participation.   Thus far, Barrow County and  Oconee County have not considered the project worthy of use of SPLOST funds.   In fact, transportation funding has ranked low with both counties in recent SPLOST proposals.

 

All area officials agree that the 316 Corridor is important for the area and particularly for quality economic development.

 

On April 28, 2005, Oconee County officials received an Economic Development Plan final draft from Basile, Baumann, Prost & Associates, an economics and real-estate development firm. 

 

SEE:  Athens Banner-Herald Article of April 29, 2005, by By Merritt Melancon, entitled,  Developing Ga. 316 should be first priority, group says, http://onlineathens.com/stories/042905/new_20050429050.shtml

The Oconee Consultants told Oconee folks, “..Leaders should concentrate on sites along Ga. 316,” Basile said. .."It makes sense because it's a major linkage in the state," he said. "And it makes sense because you already have a lot of infrastructure out there. You need to consolidate your economic development efforts in one area and I think that area should be along the 316 node."

The Oconee Plan suggested a number of steps be taken within the next year.  The first one from the report, according to the Athens Banner-Herald, was: “In the first year, the local government should create a separate economic development department to oversee all of the county's economic development operations.”  

ALSO, SEE:   1-5-04 Oconee County- Planning & Economic Development Are Not Compatible

 

If anything significant is going to happen in the University Parkway Corridor, area leaders must be more assertive and must come up with some funding.   Anything less is just more talk which has not been too productive along the corridor in recent years.


SEE: 4-22-05 GA 316, University Parkway, Dreams, Vision and Reality

 

4-27-05 GA 316 Needs Money and Planning - Lots of It

 

The Barrow County News            April 24, 2005

                http://www.barrowcountynews.com/

 

316 discussion is all about dollars, plan

Barrow Countians could help speed up the safety and design improvements on Highway 316 and assist in revving up economic development along the corridor with money and a plan in hand.


Funds to finance preliminary engineering still needed and to secure right-of-way along the University Parkway would allow a stepped-up process, indicated the Georgia Department of Transportation officials who joined Transportation Board Member Bill Kuhlke at a Friday gathering.


Members of the governmental affairs committee of the Barrow County Chamber of Commerce and some invited guests convened with Kuhlke, Chief Engineer David Studstill, District Engineer Russell McMurry and Eugene Hopkins, who has a long history of work on the 316 project, Studstill said. "He has lived and breathed the project."


The meeting was scheduled to allow Kuhlke to have some DOT expertise with him to help respond to questions and concern about the 40-mile corridor, much of which is in Barrow County.


Acknowledging its master plan for the corridor is old and in need of an update before any real planning takes place, DOT officials give an 18-month time frame for a new and fresh look at the design.


Originally the highway was designed to meet the needs of an area which is much more rural than it is now. The new approach to a more urban roadway would be a more compact design.


Studstill said the fatalities, "some awful fatalities out there", called attention in the mid-90s to the need to grade separate Highway 316. With more and more congestion, he said the need remains, but the lack of adequate funding availability and the higher traffic volumes in Gwinnett push the focus toward Collins Hill, State Route 20 and Hi Hope Road in the immediate future.


Unless Barrow takes aggressive action as Gwinnett did in financing aspects of the 316/Interstate-85 interchange improvement project, the wait for improvements to the Barrow segment of 316 will be a long one.


Studstill indicated that once the 316 Private-Public Initiative of the Washington Group is a 'go' or a 'no go,' a more definitive direction could be envisioned. A whole corridor look could give a more realistic plan for development and generate a timeline…….


…….. said Bob Hill, who indicated the citizens had spoken clearly on their displeasure with the toll proposal. "We can't wait 15 or 20 years Is there some tax district or SPLOST to help serve as a catalyst to get these needed projects going?"


It all boils down to money, explained Studstill, who indicated Gov. Sonny Perdue is committed to stopping congestion by addressing needed projects with Fast Forward bonding.


The transportation planning now required of Barrow moving into the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) will provide some of the push to get projects going, but funding will still be key to getting the work under way.

           


4-29-05 GA 316 Priority in Oconee County Economic Development Plan

 

The Athens Banner-Herald          April 29, 2005

http://onlineathens.com/stories/042905/new_20050429050.shtml

Developing Ga. 316 should be first priority, group says

Oconee County's future

By Merritt Melancon

………..Basile, Baumann, Prost & Associates, an economics and real-estate development firm, developed the plan for the county and presented the final draft to commissioners and an audience of about 40 residents Thursday at a called meeting. …….

In the first year, the local government should create a separate economic development department to oversee all of the county's economic development operations. .. This department would orchestrate a myriad of volunteer citizen committees …….

Leaders should concentrate on sites along Ga. 316, Basile said. …"It makes sense because it's a major linkage in the state," he said. "And it makes sense because you already have a lot of infrastructure out there. You need to consolidate your economic development efforts in one area and I think that area should be along the 316 node.". …….

The completion of the county's …… plan only marks the beginning of a five-year process, said Matt Forshee, director of the Oconee County Planning and Economic Development Department.

"This plan placed before us has a huge amount of potential," Forshee said. "But it's just a plan. It will help us get there, but it's going to take cooperation, communication and some hard work."


Barrow County SPLOST 2005

 

The Barrow County News

http://www.barrowcountynews.com/news.shtml

 

April 17, 2005

 

Special Purpose Sales Tax projects prioritized

 

Project priorities for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum which is expected to be on the June 21 ballot are under review by Barrow County and its municipalities…….

The Criminal Justice Facility would include the 380-bed detention facility to provide the estimated needed housing for county inmates…….

…………………………..

 

Priority list proposal for next SPLOST

 

Bond Amount Total, $9,780,465.00


Criminal Justice Facility...$3,854,270.00

E-911...$,223,296.00

Old Courthouse Renovation (Lanier Tech)...$,079,603.00
Above items would be included in a 20-year bond with the first six years of bonded indebteness being financed by SPLOST collections. The monthly payment would be priority for collections.

Bear Creek...$,400,000.00*
This is additional payment toward the existing bonded indebtedness on the project. The intergovernmental agreement would earmark collections for roads should the project become self-sufficient and about to meet the bond payments in advance of six years. It is estimated that could come well within a 5-year period.

Roads...$5,000,000.00

·  County $,170,474.15

·  Winder $,484,726.79

Fine Arts Center...$,000,000.00

West Winder ByPass...$,000,000.00

Recreation/Downtown Revitalization/Streetscapes...$6,000,000.00


Sewer...$,000,000.00


Water...$,000,000.00


OCONEE 2003 SPLOST

 

7-26-03 OCONEE SPLOST 2004 PROJECTS

 

http://avoc.info/info/article.php?article=381&PHPSESSID=49131c304ce930822f6eaa3be9104645

  

9-3-03 Oconee SPLOST Proposal is Shortsighted & Wasteful

http://avoc.info/info/article.php?article=441&PHPSESSID=49131c304ce930822f6eaa3be9104645

 

Oconee Has 40 + Miles of Dirt Roads and 100 Miles of Resurfacing Needs That Are Not Being Met……


.. Of the $5 Million only $ Million (25% or less) is planned for transportation needs. Only $ Million is planned for Water and Sewer Expansion. These are the two most critical infrastructure needs of Oconee County and these amounts are woefully inadequate.

One proposed budget showed $ Million for Road Paving estimated to cost $00,000 to $50,000 a mile. That is less than a mile a year. At that rate, it will take FORTY years to pave the remaining 40 miles of dirt roads in Oconee County. No new paving has occurred under the current administration while large amounts have been spent on "Planning and Engineering". This budget does not show any real attempt to pave any dirt roads although many have been on "the list" for the last two or three SPLOST votes!

Only $ Million is planned for resurfacing needs over 5 years. This is woefully inadequate. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Oconee County

SPLOST 2004

Grand Total $5 Million

Cultural / Recreational                                                          Total $.0 Million

G.O. Bonds-5 Yrs $.9    Park Improvements $.1

 Roads and Bridges                                                                Total $.0 Million

Potential Projects:  Intersection improvements, bridge repair and replacements, road resurfacing

Water and Sewer Improvements                                          Total $.0 Million

Potential Projects: (water) line extensions and installations, line size upgrades, fire hydrant installations $.0, (sewer) L.A.S. upgrade / Plant Construction, lift station installations $.0

Public Safety                                                                          Total $.4 Million

Jail $.3, E.O.C. / 911 $ .6, Fire Stations/equip/land $.5

County Facility Improvements / Renovations                      Total $.6 Million

Potential Projects:  Court House Expansion, Library Expansions / Improvements, Annex Renovations, Code Enforcement Renovations


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