Ever wonder how local road projects come to be or get funded?
A meeting sponsored by the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Hall County area’s lead transportation planning agency, will attempt to answer such questions — and more.
Sam Baker, the agency’s transportation planning manager, said the MPO has been “asked on multiple occasions … by citizens, committee members and others how transportation funding decisions are made and where the funds for transportation projects come from.”
The MPO retreat, set for Friday at the Hall County Government Center, will feature a primer on how the agency works by MPO director Srikanth Yamala, who is also Hall’s planning director.
Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization
What: Agency to hold informational retreat about organization’s role and functions, as well discussions about transportation issues
When: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. FridayWhere: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville
The agency traces its history to February 2003, when it was created as a result of the 2000 U.S. Census that formed the Gainesville Urbanized Area.
The 2010 U.S. Census identified western Jackson County, including Braselton, as part of the MPO’s planning area.
Baker is slated to talk about the agency’s Regional Transportation Plan, a document covering road projects and their projected rollout through 2040. The agency also maintains a short-term project list, the Transportation Improvement Program, or TIP.
The TIP occasionally gets revised, while the long-range plans undergo updates every few years, with the last update in 2015.
Baker said he expects that a presentation on state legislation involving transportation will be “of particular interest.”
One highlight could be discussion of a bill passed this year that allows individual counties to hold a referendum on a 1-cent special purpose local option sales tax for roads.
Previous law allowed only regions within the state to consider such a tax. A 2012 vote was done by regions, with Hall County lumped in with 12 other counties in the Georgia Mountains region.
Nearly 75 percent of residents voted against the measure.
Clint Mueller, legislative director of Association County Commissioners of Georgia, will lead the presentation.
Also, Phillippa Lewis Moss, director of the Gainesville-Hall County Community Service Center, will give an update of Hall Area Transit.
And Katie Strickland, district spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation, plans to talk about the DOT’s safety-focused Arrive Alive campaign.