Chamber Recognizes T-SPLOST Leadership at Member Economic Luncheon
During today’s third quarter Member Economic Luncheon, the Augusta Metro Chamber celebrated the completion of the first 10 years of the T-SPLOST or TIA Program and took a moment to recognize the leadership behind these transportation projects.
Eleven years ago, the Chamber took the lead on advocating for a unique opportunity for our 13-county region to fund transportation projects that were vital to our continued growth through our own regional sales tax dollars. In 2012, a majority of voters decided to dedicate a penny sales tax to fund 84 identified projects throughout the 13 counties. Total collections over the 10-year program were $747MM. Some of the more notable projects these funds helped to finance include the extension of Riverwatch Parkway from Baston Road to Washington Road, complete resurfacing of major corridors to downtown including Riverwatch Parkway and Gordon Highway, Berckmans Road realignment and widening, the 5th Street Bridge and many others still under construction such as SR 88 from Evans to Locks to the South Carolina border, Wheeler Road, and Broad Street in the downtown area.
On behalf of the Augusta Metro Chamber Board of Directors, the Chamber’s leadership and its members, Board Chairman Dennis Trotter of Jordan Trotter Commercial Real Estate recognized Don Grantham for his time on the State Transportation Board for the Georgia Department of Transportation. “We extend our appreciation for the unending guidance, advocacy, and leadership provided at the state level to ensure all projects were financed to the highest level and completed or currently under completion,” said Dennis regarding Mr. Grantham. The Chamber also recognized Dr. Hameed Malik, Director of Engineering for Augusta-Richmond County. For the past 10 years, Dr. Malik managed and contracted all Augusta-Richmond County’s 50 TIA projects with his crowning achievement being the final construction approvals for Broad, Greene and Telfair Streets.
Accountability for the TIA Program projects resides in a local 5-member panel of volunteers called the Citizens Review Panel (CRP). Panel Chair Phil Wahl with Security Federal Bank and Co-Chair James Kendrick at Augusta Blueprint, along with Mark Ivey of the Ivey Group, Ben Tarbutton III with Sandersville Railroad Company and James Alfriend of James Alfriend Consulting Foresters, LLC, were recognized and thanked by the Chamber for their dedication and duty to this panel over the past 10 years. Many of these gentlemen have agreed to continue their role on the CRP for the next phase of T-SPLOST or TIA 2 which began this year.
To learn more about special projects funded by regional TIA sales tax collections, visit ga-tia.com
Kathryn Freemon, Communications Coordinator
Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce