TSPLOST awareness grows as primary day nears

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email

Residents will get to decide whether or not to approve the TSPLOST in July. (WRDW-TV / May 30, 2012)

News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, May 30, 2012

EVANS, Ga. -- We are about two months away from voters heading to the polls in Georgia, and one of the hot topics this July is the TSPLOST.

It's the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, and one penny of every dollar you spend in this region could go toward local road work for the next decade.

Cathyle Caywood plans to vote "yes" to support the TSPLOST in July.

"I don't like paying more taxes, but a penny on every dollar is not that much to spend for the roads that we need," Caywood explained.

One of the biggest project improvements of the potential $841 million would be an extension of Riverwatch Parkway into Evans.

"The traffic is awful, light after light after light -- to bypass Washington Road would be wonderful,"Caywood said.

Soon, you'll start seeing more signs around the 13-county region that must either pass the plan together or put the brakes on it.

Local chambers of commerce are helping to educate their areas.

"Funding these major corridors for our community is a number one priority," explained President and CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Tammy Shepherd. "Everyone pays into it, and everyone reaps the rewards."

Columbia County is looking toward the future.

"We need it for economic development -- for Columbia County, we grew over 38 percent in the last 10 years going from 89,000 to 124,000 people. We have to start thinking about it as an investment in our community for the next 10 years," Shepherd said.

But not everyone plans to give the plan a green light.

"Personally, I think the money should go to children, the disabled and the elderly. People are more important than roads. The roads need to be fixed, but at the same time, there are hungry people," said Markus from Martinez.

But now it's up to voters like you.

On Wednesday, June 6, the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce will be holding a town hall meeting about the TSPLOST. It will be at the Evans Library Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m.

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