Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash and Sugar Hill Councilman and Gwinnett Municipal Association President, Steve Edwards.
SUGAR HILL — The Gwinnett Municipal Association hosted its bimonthly meeting Tuesday in which county and city officials signed SPLOST agreements for 2013.
The agreement commits 70 percent of the three-year sales tax program to transportation with the next biggest cut going to public safety.
“It’s very important for our cities to be on the same page,” County Commission Charwoman Charlotte Nash said. “This agreement indicates that the leaders of each city understand the importance of working together.”
While the SPLOST is still awaiting approval from voters on Nov. 5, county and city officials moved forward with the plan that will make improvements to the transportation infrastructure.
The agreement gives 21.1 percent of the proceeds to the municipalities. While cities make up about 25 percent of the county’s population, the agreement was reached due to the fact that the county maintains a large network of roads even within city limits. The county also agreed to set aside $25 million of the up to $275 million it would receive for transportation to devote to joint city/county projects.
“We don’t see it as us giving up anything,” Duluth mayor Nancy Harris said. “When we looked at the county projects, we saw how much it benefits our city. So, it really was an easy decision.”
Nash said the transportation projects will be a mix between pedestrian projects and major road improvements.
“We’ll have a citizen project selection committee that will select the final projects,” she said.
Outside of the $275 million for transportation, the agreement devotes more than $70 million to public safety.
“We’re looking at replacing ambulances, police cars and fire trucks,” Nash said.
Nash said she loves seeing the cities working together, adding that by developing relationships and working together, the county will continue to be strong.
“When you have 16 cities, there are 16 different ideas about what should be done,” Nash said. “But finding common ground is important. You’re not always going to get everything you want.”
Peachtree Corners ($19,970,315) will receive the largest share of the 16 cities, while Lawrenceville and Duluth will receive more than $14.5 million. The smallest share will go to Rest Haven ($16,640).
Harris added that seeing the 16 cities within the county work together is only going to make each stronger.
“When the other cities are strong, you’re strong,” she said. “Teamwork is key to making this area a great place to be.”
For a full listing of each city’s share, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com.