Clayton Co. residents and officials disagree on T-SPLOST - CBS46 News

Clayton County residents and officials disagree on T-SPLOST vote

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Tara Boulevard Tara Boulevard
CLAYTON COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Most Clayton County residents agree traffic is congested along Tara Boulevard, but what they don't agree on is how to fix the problem.

"I'm sorry but we already have the funds in our SPLOST account to do these things," Clayton County resident Carl Swensson said.

Swensson lives in the area and is one of several opposed to adding a penny to the sales tax to pay for road repairs. He said he checked county records last month and Clayton County already has $100 million in a SPLOST fund. He believes the county should use that money to make improvements, instead of asking for more.

"I believe it's going to just line the pockets of our politicians and have very little effect on the actual traffic congestion we're seeing right now," Swensson said.

But Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell said that wasn't the case and that he believes the tax, which would be around for the next 10 years, is the solution to traffic troubles in Clayton County and throughout metro Atlanta.

"This is the answer. Is it the best? No, but it's a start and that's what Atlanta needs is a start," Bell said.

If the transportation referendum is approved, the largest project in the area would be the conversion of Tara Boulevard to what's called a "Super Arterial." Other projects include the widening of Conley Road from I-285 to Jonesboro Road and the return of local bus service. 

"Look at what one penny will do. One penny may help me to give them back some residential taxes," Bell said.

"We strongly believe that we're going to vote it down and we strongly believe that the legislature will be motivated to adopt a plan B," Clayton County resident Mike Lowry said.

Metro Atlanta residents will have the opportunity to vote on the transportation referendum on July 31.

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