For many years, the Georgia Department of Transportation was required to divide up billions of dollars in federal transportation money every year, with each congressional district getting an equal amount.
That system is gone, replaced by a plan that allows the DOT to move 20 percent of the money to wherever it sees fit. That has some south Georgia drivers concerned that the Atlanta area will gain money, while this region could lose out.
Ivan Dye says, “They shouldn't have to come down to my uncle's county, which is struggling, and use their money to improve their economic situation."
Traffic engineers with the city of Valdosta don't think the state's new flexibility with the federal funds for transportation will be a problem. They admit some of the money may be diverted up into the metro Atlanta area where there is a lot of growth and need, but the local experts think this area will continue to do okay when it comes to future road construction projects.
Stephanie Stephens expresses, "My tax money would be going someplace else, not to where I live; it's my tax money. The federal government is supposed to use my money to help the people in my area. I don't think it’s fair and I don't think it’s right."
But for now, these drivers will have to hope they don't see any negative changes. Supporters of the change say it will help the state fix areas of need more quickly.
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