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Residents wanting piece of tax pie meet to discuss SPLOST
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The Concerned Citizens of Gainesville and Hall County spoke up about the issues in their community with members of Hall County government at the group’s monthly meeting Tuesday.

Interim County Administrator Charley Nix, Assistant County Administrator Phil Sutton, Public Works Director Ken Rearden and Fire Chief David Kimbrell addressed the group about upcoming projects and took questions from the group at its monthly meeting at Bethel Church of the Nazarene in Gainesville.

Residents wanted to know what money in the upcoming SPLOST, or Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, would be used in the Southside area.

Many of the residents wanted to know if there could be improvements to the roads on the Southside of town and more street lights and sidewalks.

"This area is not going to grow. This neighborhood is overlooked," said resident Gloria Evans. "We just want our piece of the pie."

Sutton said though there are no specific projects outlined, part of the money designated for road improvements could go to the area.

Other residents expressed concerns about safety. Throughout the meeting, people pointed out that the Southside has many dead ends and few outlets, making it unsafe in the case of an emergency.

"In a mass panic, we have one way out," said Michelle Mintz about the Floyd Road outlet. "We need another way out."

Evans said in the case of a natural disaster, she feels people are trapped.

"Every street in this community is a dead end street. We’re landlocked. We don’t want to be like (Hurricane) Katrina. We don’t want to be stuck," Evans said.

Kimbrell spoke to the group about emergency procedures and suggested concerned people take advantage of the county’s Community Emergency Response Team training, which educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills.

Rearden spoke to the group about some of the projects that already are under way to improve roads. He said the county will likely put a three-way stop sign at the intersection of Eugene and Brown streets.

There also will be more street lights in the future for Brown Street, which many complained was too dark.

"You will be in the dark until you get to Athens Street," Evans said.

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