County to talk possible transportation tax projects


Published: Monday, January 23, 2012 at 6:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 23, 2012 at 10:45 p.m.

The County Commission Tuesday will discuss its own wish list and those of area communities as to which transportation projects would get funded through a proposed sales tax.

Facts

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The County Commission's evening session begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday at 12 S.E. 1st St. in Gainesville.

Currently, those draft lists are based on the county's existing list of road maintenance and resurfacing needs and the transportation capital improvement plans of the various cities.

Discussions have, to this point, focused on a one-cent tax that would remain on the books for at least 10 years. Right now, one cent would generate in the range of $30 million annually and some $300 million over a decade, which would not come close to covering all the projects local governments have on their capital projects lists.

So those lists would still have to be pared, with county commissioners and elected officials from the municipalities selecting projects that would receive funding from the tax. That is, if the sales tax referendum makes it on the ballot in November and is approved by voters.

Gainesville Public Works director Teresa Scott said Monday that city commissioners had not yet voted on a prioritized list.

Gainesville commissioners are expected to schedule a workshop to discuss potential projects in upcoming weeks. County staff has proposed that the County Commission and Gainesville City Commission have a joint meeting before Feb. 17.

Gainesville's draft list includes a mix of road resurfacing, new road construction such as the extension of Hull Road west of the University of Florida and Gainesville Regional Transit system projects, including the a new expanded bus maintenance facility.

Alachua County's draft list is based on its $380 million backlog of road resurfacing needs. High on that list are Northwest 43rd Street, Northwest County Road 235 Avenue and Northwest County Road 236.

Also today, commissioners will decide whether to officially take a stance against two pieces of proposed state legislation.

One bill would preempt the airboat curfew that voters approved in November 2010 by exempting airboats that pass a noise test from any local prohibitions. State Sen. Steve Oelrich R- Cross Creek is the Senate sponsor of that bill.

The other bill would give the Governor's Office increased authority over local workforce boards.

Contact Christopher Curry at 374-5088 or chris.curry@gvillesun.com

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