After attending a recent county commission meeting, I have come to the conclusion that we, the voting residents of Bartow County, should not waste our limited tax dollars on the grossly overpriced route chosen by the Georgia Department of Transportation for the U.S. 411 Connector. We currently have two major road projects in our county - the relocation of Old Alabama Road and improvements to State Route 20 - that are desperately needed. Instead of building a road to pacify motorists and elected officials from a neighboring county, we ought to be focused on completing road projects from which we would derive benefit.
Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown and other county officials have stated in recent press reports the road is more beneficial to Rome and Floyd County, than it is to Bartow. So why should we fund a road from Rome and Floyd County that would cost more than $280 million when another route (Route G) would serve the exact same purpose and could be built for $182 million less? Route G would be 2.5 miles shorter, have a much safer interchange at I-75 and significantly fewer environmental impacts.
County taxpayers' already have more than $5 million allocated - through special purpose local option sales tax funds - for the two, local road projects. Approximately $3.2 million has been allotted for the Old Alabama Road project and $2.1 million for SR 20 improvements, and now residents are going to dole out millions of additional tax dollars for GDOT's environmentally and legally plagued 411 Connector Route D-VE?
Before we waste taxpayers' money, environmental resources and our way of life for other counties, let's first complete our own, beneficial road projects.