Where will funds come from for infrastructure?
November 15, 2013 12:31 AM | 1240 views | 10 10 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

The Atlanta Braves have announced they are moving to Cobb for the 2017 season. Great news — or is it? Five major questions have not been asked. The answers will define the quality of life for Cobb’s residents after 2017.

1. It is startling that Gov. Deal was never consulted on this move until the very last day. State transportation planners will likely be asked to fund improvements around the site and the governor responded: “I have no indication that I’ll be putting any infrastructure funds in my budget. I do not see this as something that the taxpayers of this state will be asked to pay for.”

The state DOT already has plans to build new lanes along I-75 that actually bypass Cobb, in a public-private agreement. Where will the money for infrastructure come from?

2. It has been reported that Cobb will pay for 45 percent of the proposed $672 million stadium complex cost. Where will the money for infrastructure come from?

3. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed stated: “Because of the transportation issues, Cobb is going to have to have rail, which would be the first introduction of light rail.” Cobb Chair Tim Lee responded it will be Bus Rapid Transit.” The BRT proposal would cost $1.1 billion, as the recent Northwest Corridor Alternatives Study recommends. Where will $1.1 billion come from?

4. Voters in Marietta recently approved a $68 million project to improve the Franklin Road corridor in Marietta. The city plans to look to the private sector for redevelopment. With the Braves coming, this site will develop as mixed use, including hotels, motels and commercial development.

Has anyone determined how the new traffic will impact Cobb Parkway (Hwy. 41) and I-75, between Hwy.120 and Windy Hill Road? Where will the money for infrastructure come from?

5. Once the Braves’ new stadium is built and the infrastructure completed, what will the impact on Cobb’s budget for additional Public Safety personnel, to protect the new region and the maintenance of the massive new infrastructure have on Cobb residents’ property taxes?

Do we now know why the Atlanta Chamber, Cobb Chamber, Atlanta Regional Commission, Cumberland Improvement District and Tim Lee were such strong supporters of rail from Atlanta to Cumberland Mall and Town Center in the 2012 TSPLOST proposal? That proposal failed in Cobb County by 61-39 percent vote. How will this proposal be viewed when these questions are answered?

Bill Byrne

Marietta

Editor’s note: Bill Byrne is a former chairman of the Cobb Board of Commissioners.
Comments
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Concerned Citizen
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November 24, 2013
In your letter you said "Has anyone determined how the new traffic will impact Cobb Parkway (Hwy. 41) and I-75, between Hwy.120 and Windy Hill Road? Where will the money for infrastructure come from?" Excellent question. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY TRAFFIC STUDIES? What will happen if Cobb becomes "crippled" from overwhelming traffic congestion on all major interstates? It's already at a stand-still. I don't like the Braves deal because of the potential transportation and traffic disaster that it potentially creates.
Lib in Cobb
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November 17, 2013
The "Brain Trust" of Cobb county headed by Tim Lee can find $300 million for a Socialist enterprise but they can't fund Cobb County Schools.

This is the same "Brain Trust" which has stated a number of times "Our children are our most important asset".

Classroom size is increasing, teacher unpaid furlough days, inadequate supplies for the classroom, decrease in healthcare coverage, increase in premiums, limited teacher raises.

When was the last time any members of "The Brain Trust" had an unpaid furlough day or five?

At some point the residents of Cobb are going to be required to pay up for this bad idea. Yeah, I know lee has said something to the contrary.

When this is all over and Lee is no longer part of "the brain trust" he will be rewarded with a good job with some entity involved with the new stadium.

The Red Sox have played in Fenway for over 100 years. The Cubs have played in Wrigley since 1913.

In 20 years are the Braves going to need a new stadium, then Cobb will be stuck with this 45,000 seat money pit as is Atlanta being stuck with Turner Field.
dustoff
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November 17, 2013
Uh Lib in Cobb

Before you start complaining about how the local government works maybe you need to learn about it.

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners have no legal control over the schools nor do they control the budget. It is the sole responsibility of the Cobb County Board of Education.

So bitch to the Board of Education not Tim Lee.
Defies Explanation
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November 18, 2013
Your stupidity, that is....

Why is it every argument against the Braves has "SCHOOLS" mentioned in them when the SCHOOL BOARD has nothing to do with it? Twp completely separate entities. But then again, you probably think it's okay for THIS President to lie when you've called out others for the same thing.

Liberal = hypocrisy.
Samuel Adams
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November 18, 2013
Lib in Cobb, your ignorance is finally front and center. Tim Lee is not responsible for funding our schools...the school board carries that responsibility. Wow, all this time and you can't even get the basics of the county right. I'm guessing it's because you're more focused on the national scene and the Democrat talking points and when it comes to local issues you're a novice. And since it's sort of obvious that your identity is Kevin Foley, that would explain lack of local columns.
Lost Olympics
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November 15, 2013
I am glad Tim Lee is the head of the commission and not you. If you were elected we would be talking about the Gwinett County Braves, not Cobb. You sir are a stubborn old man who ruined our chance to have the Olympics in Cobb, now you are the voice of negativity of bringing the Braves here. Please go back to Paulding and complain about their airport and the gays.
Samuel Adams
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November 15, 2013
While I'm somewhat excited about the possibility of a successful new home for the Braves, it was perfectly clear that Cobb countians were lied to about the "light rail" to Cumberland, and that Tad Litehead knew about the possibility of this move, got shot down on the TSPLOST, but decided to go forward anyway with this proposal. What part did Ehrhart play? Well, possibly set up lunch, but Litehead knew more from the get go and Lee is just the....figurehead. This could go either way, good or bad. Tim, you can still blow it if you don't consider Bill's questions/concerns honestly. Don't kid yourself. Unless you want a taxpayer revolt.
SWYT
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November 15, 2013
Bill, you have always been a straight shooter.

Thanks for your comments...

You say what you think, which is better than most.

I hope the put down artists will at least consider your points.

Now if only you had kept the idea of a City of East Cobb to yourself... you'd be the man.

Hank Moody
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November 15, 2013
I was waiting for this has been to come out of the woodwork. Bill, do us all a favor and keep your comments to yourself. Still bitter you lost the election no doubt. All you do by writing these letters to the editors is remind people of the numerous poor decisions you made during your tenure as chairman.
dustoff
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November 15, 2013
Well look who is throwing rocks. The same person who as Chairman never worried where the money was coming from when he ordered county departments to build infrastructure for his developer cronies.

And how about the expensive sewer outfall and tunnel built for Home Depot Corporate Center
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