The Cobb Board of Commissioners is expected to finalize a project list July 22, and voters would decide whether to renew a 1 percent special purpose local option sales tax to fund those projects Nov. 4.
Chief among the mayor’s concerns is the Sardis Street overpass, a juncture at which two roads and a railroad converge.
“For the city, No. 1 (priority) is probably going to be our Sardis Street overpass, which is over the railroad, and which will help the very dangerous intersection at Cherokee and Main,” Mathews said.
The proposed project would “create a new overpass and new access to Main Street, without being bogged down by the train and the very unsafe crossing.”
While the city has set aside $6 million in proposed SPLOST funds to complete the proposal, Mathews said CSX, the railroad company operating on the tracks, would coordinate with the city on the construction of the bridge.
CSX would pick up some of the project’s tab because such an effort would give the company “a pretty substantial stretch of uninterrupted track,” Mathews said.
The mayor said his next priority would be to tackle the county’s storm water problems. Kennesaw would pay $3 million to upgrade its citywide storm water infrastructure, which includes addressing drainage problems.
Improvements focused on reducing congestion and traffic safety dominate Kennesaw’s SPLOST list.
City officials plan to add a traffic signal to a dangerous intersection near the Shops at Shiloh, a shopping center near Cherokee Street, as well as an auxiliary lane to run between Cherokee and Jiles Road to make safer the “very dangerous interchange,” as part of a joint project with the county.
Kennesaw will bear half of the $4.8 million cost, Mathews said, while the county will pick up the tab for the other half.
In all, the city will partner with the county for three proposed SPLOST projects.
“The top priority is given to projects that support downtown development, such as a new bridge over the railroad tracks,” said Steve Kennedy, Kennesaw’s city manager. “Several recreation projects in Swift-Cantrell Park are also high priorities.”
Mathews said a splash park in Swift-Cantrell will fall entirely under the county’s SPLOST umbrella, even though the park is located within the city limits.
The fountains and water features of the proposed splash park would meet a regional need, Mathews noted, which is why the county will foot the entire $1.2 million bill.
“These projects are in keeping with the city’s master development plan for downtown and the Swift-Cantrell Park Master Plan,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said a public hearing to allow city residents to weigh in on the project list has not yet been scheduled.