The BOC held a workshop on March 14, 2011 with the Cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay in attendance. First on the agenda was to compile a list of road project improvements for Gilmer County. The main goal was to ensure Gilmer’s road projects are turned in by the submittal deadline in regards to HB277 that will be voted on in 2012. Gilmer County certainly wants to make sure they do not lose out by not being prepared with projects should the bill pass. If anyone is interested in how the list was determined you may view the workshop meeting. Fetchyournews.com has posted video coverage of the entire workshop road projects discussion.
Possible road projects were discussed by Gilmer County Community Development Director-Jim Smith, Gilmer County Commissioners-J.C. Sanford, Danny Hall, and Will Beattie, City of Ellijay-Mayor Al Hoyle, and City of East Ellijay City Planner-Mack Wood. Everyone seemed to be in agreement that the areas most used by citizens of Gilmer County should be top priority. After much discussion the following “top ten” list was established:
1. Crossover Street (alleviate congestion at malfunction junction by Hardees)
2. North Bypass to alleviate traffic (trucks) through the square downtown.
3. Insert a 3rd lane into Highlands Crossing (service road in front of Wal-mart)
4. Change Hwy 5 south to 4-lane (alleviate traffic issues especially school traffic)
5. River Street Bridge
6. Lee Pritchett Connector
7. Southern Road Paving
8. John Teems Extension
9. Hwy 282 / Harold Pritchett Intersection
10. Outer laying County roads.
While everyone understands this could be just a “wish list”, they also know its like Jim Smith said, “All they can do is say no” and since this bill could pass even if Gilmer doesn’t vote for it then Gilmer must be prepared. Transportation project plan guideline considerations mandated the road projects must have connectivity and impact economical development. Potential projections could be as high as $300,000.00 -$400,000.00 per year. Mr. Smith also pointed out that motor fuel and auto sales would be exempt from the 1% tax. The project submittal deadline is March 30, 2011.