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Tri-county self-taxing district paying for multi-use paths
Pedestrians and golf cart drivers can use this stretch of multi-use pathway along Ga. 211 in Braselton, thanks to the efforts of a self-taxing district of businesses in the town.

As area governments are raising or proposing to raise taxes, a small cluster of Braselton businesses is chipping in a little extra to improve connectivity among businesses and subdivisions.

The Braselton Community Improvement District is going through annual steps to approve a 5-mill levy on its members to pay for multi-use paths around and along Old Winder Highway/Ga. 211 in Hall, Gwinnett and Barrow counties.

“Today, you drive along that section of road and people are pushing a stroller, biking, walking and (driving) a golf cart,” CID chairman Scott Snedecor said.

The LifePath corridor, as it has been dubbed, cost about $500,000, connecting The Village at Deaton Creek and Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton in South Hall to Chateau Elan resort in Braselton.

Funded by tax revenues from the CID, the project was done in partnership with Braselton, Gwinnett County and the Georgia Department of Transportation, according to the CID’s website.

About 50 businesses are in the district.

Since the hospital’s opening in April 2015, the area has been growing rapidly.

The first phase of the $75 million Highpoint Medical Center, off Friendship Road/Ga. 347 at the Gwinnett-Hall County line, is set to open in mid-July. The 43,000-square-foot building will house The Longstreet Clinic and Northeast Georgia Diagnostic Clinic’s Braselton offices.

A Chick-fil-A restaurant is planned off Ga. 211 as part of a larger development, with five other parcels on now-vacant land fronting Ga. 211 between Thompson Mill Road and Ga. 347.

A Dunkin Donuts also is looking to locate on the retail site, Braselton Planning and Development Director Kevin Keller has said.

The DOT finished widening Ga. 347 between Ga. 211 and Spout Springs Road in June 2015. Ga. 347 is now four lanes between Ga. 211 and McEver Road in Buford. A project widening Ga. 347 to three lanes between McEver and Lanier Islands resort is set for an October 2019 completion.

With sidewalks running the gamut of Ga. 347, “I like to think that our multi-use paths inspired somebody,” Snedecor said with a laugh.

“What began as a small, 1.7-mile connectivity thing ended up becoming one of the largest connected multi-use pathways on the north side of Atlanta,” he said.

Improvements also are being planned for Ga. 211 in a project area from Ga. 347 to Ga. 124 in Barrow.

A project to widen Ga. 211 is being considered by the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization, Hall’s lead transportation planning agency.

Snedecor said he believes the multi-use paths shouldn’t be affected by the project.

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