Money grubbing bureaucrats find they didn’t need to extend GA 400 tolls after all

According to the article Ga. 400/I-85 to be rebuilt, but was new toll needed?  in the AJC:

… for Ga. 400 toll payers who once expected the toll to expire this year, the congestion relief will be bittersweet.  As they now continue paying the toll for another decade to fund the interchange project and others, there is a new kicker. The bid the state accepted Friday for the project is far lower than the state estimated it would be when it made the case that the toll had to be extended.

So low, it raises the question of whether the toll extension was necessary in the first place.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted at the time that the toll authority expected to have $42.5 million  in excess toll reserves at the conclusion of the original toll, meaning that the state did not need to extend the  toll to pay for the  I-85/Ga. 400 interchange. However, Perdue, who chaired the authority as governor, replied that not just those projects, but others  along the corridor needed to be done, too.

If bids on all 11 of those Ga. 400 projects — estimated by SRTA last fall at a total of $67 million — come in at the same low rate under the estimates, the state wouldn’t need the new toll to build any of them.

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Gena Evans, director of the toll authority, told a legislative panel earlier this year that eliminating the toll could impair the state’s bond rating as well as confidence with investors in public-private toll projects.

Ms. Evans neglected to mention that removing the toll would also impair her ability to collect a six figure salary as the state’s head toll collector if the tolls stopped as promised.

As a wise man once said,”Once you vote to give the government your money they will do with it what they damn well please.” Remember this any time  government asks you for permission to take more of your money.

Abolish the State Roadway and Toll Authority?

Now that is change I can believe in!

Apparently Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin has introduced a bill, HB 18, which would eliminate the State Roadway and Toll Authority this summer. If you aren’t familiar with SRTA, it is the organization that recently extended the tolls on GA 400 to the chagrin of many North Fulton residents and elected officials.

I have no idea if this bill can pass in this session or if this would actually remove the tolls which were extended but it’s introduction is one of the first signs of sanity to come out of the gold dome this year.

You can read the bill here.

GA 400 Toll meeting in Alpharetta

The State Roadway and Toll Authority will be in Alpharetta this Wednesday to hear how the public wants them to spend the $67 million they will take from North Fulton County residents. 

The toll collectors plan to be at the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce 11605 Haynes Bridge Road, (Suite 100, Alpharetta, GA 30009) on Wednesday, January 5th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. As I pointed out in this previous post, some Georgia legislators aren’t too happy about the way the Georgia Department of Transportation and SRTA circumvented their authority so the meeting may be more entertaining than you would ordinarily think.

Either way you should come out and see how the bureaucrats plan to spend your money