LAWRENCEVILLE -- Just hours after protesters marched outside the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, commissioners approved a project list for funding that could come from a regional transportation sales tax, which is on ballots July 31.
While a slate of leaders last year approved a list of regional projects for the majority of the funding, about 15 percent of the funding has been set aside for governments to spend on projects of their own discretion, with no ties to the region.
Of the $133.6 million the county expects to get in funding over 10 years, if the tax is approved by voters, commissioners voted to use about $54.2 million to complete projects originally funded by Gwinnett's sales tax program, approved in 2008, which has not reached expectations over the past few years due to the economy.
Another $47 million has been set aside for resurfacing of local roads. Other funds were allocated to sidewalks, school safety projects, bridges, major roads, intersection improvements and other needs.
"This is not a vote up or down on our support of T-SPLOST," Commissioner John Heard pointed out, adding that it was only to set a project list for the tax.
Prior to the vote, about a dozen people from Georgia Taxpayers Alliance held placards and passed out information asking people to vote no on the referendum.
"It's just another issue of greedy politicians enriching their friends at the expense of homeowners," Lawrenceville man Ron Williams said, adding that he does not believe Gwinnett residents should pay a tax that would go to fund projects like transit and the Beltline inside Atlanta's perimeter. "It's just another boondoggle."