This morning I noticed an article on NorthFulton.com which reports the mayors of North Fulton county have voted to sacrifice extending MARTA into their communities in exchange for more road money:
The North Fulton Municipal Association decided to try to trade $37 million in MARTA engineering funds for the restoration of road projects to be funded by the 2012 transportation-improvement sales tax.
He said Fulton is a net donor to the tax while Cobb County and DeKalb County get a 120 percent return on their investment.
Bodker then criticized the Beltline streetcar project in Atlanta. He said it is an Atlanta project, not a regional one, but it is slated to receive $600 million in funds intended for regional transportation development. He said Atlanta is getting more than its fair share of the revenues and this money is being taken from North Fulton’s hide.
“If Atlanta wants to fund it, they have 15 percent off the top of this thing,” he said.
He said Atlanta would be paying for the project using other people’s money.
Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos suggested heavy rail would never come to North Fulton, so the $37 million was money wasted.
The representatives of Alpharetta, Milton and Johns Creek voted in favor; Wood, representing Roswell, voted against it. No representative from Mountain Park was present.
While the shift of $37 million of a $8 Billion dollar tax is a small gesture it does show that the mayors of North Fulton are finally yielding to the political realities in their communities. The strange thing is that just one week earlier the same newspaper published a story from the same reporter which lead readers to believe the mayors unanimously suppported the MARTA funds:
Bodker said all the mayors support transit, but are concerned there is no regional transit system that all participating governments support. As far as the projects are concerned, the mayors support extending MARTA to Holcomb Bridge Road and eventually Windward Parkway. At the very least, the tax should pay for the necessary engineering, which would cost $37 million. The mayors also unanimously supported completing the proposed Clifton Corridor that would connect MARTA to Emory University, Atlanta’s largest employer, and extending MARTA up I-75 to at least Cumberland Mall.
A complete reversal of the North Fulton Municipal Association’s position in one week? How curious.