By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 30, 2018
Valdosta, GA. (WCTV) -- Major road improvement projects could soon be in the hands of Georgia voters.
On Tuesday, the South Georgia Regional Commission held a public forum on dozens of projects proposed around the region.
The open house was organized by the Regional Transportation Roundtable, a group of elected officials to represent each of the 18 counties that make up the Southern Georgia region.
The roundtable is asking voters to consider implementing a one percent sales tax over the next ten years to fund these projects. If approved, organizers say they expect the sales tax to bring in over $5 million. 75 percent of that revenue will go straight to these projects.
About 150 projects are proposed throughout the region. In Lowndes County, a few of those include intersections on Saint Augustine Rd. near the Valdosta mall, widening Forest Street and Old Clyattville Rd, improving Exit 111 on I-75 and a new air traffic control tower at Valdosta Regional Airport.
"Ultimately, if you're looking at enacting sales tax on your voters and on your residents of your community, it's important for them to have that decision, not just elected officials. This actually gives our residents and our communities an opportunity to voice their opinion on this proposed funding stream," says Corey Hull, Transportation and Environmental Director for the Southern Georgia Regional Commission.
Another roundtable meeting is scheduled for February 13. If members decide to move forward, a referendum will be on the May ballot. If members decide not to, organizers say these projects could be delayed for years.
Visit the regional roundtable website for a full list of proposed projects.