TSPLOST Shortfall leaves Infrastructure projects on chopping block

We are walking into 2019 nearly 2 years from the TSPLOST referendum by Atlanta voters with more questions than answers. One thing is certain a reprioritization and reorganization is needed to make end meet amidst a 410M shortfall in funding leaving many proposed projects on the chopping block.

Atlanta promised voters hundreds sidewalk, road, bridge and other public works if they’d approve two special programs in 2015 and 2016. Now comes the hard part: figuring out what to do with $940 million worth of promised projects and only $530 million in the budget.

There are a lot of reasons why the city got to the place it’s in, according to Joshua Williams, the deputy chief operating officer brought on by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in July, about seven months into her own term. He’s been looking in the books of both programs.

The roughly $410 million funding gap is “due largely to rising construction costs, expanded project scopes, and a lower-than-anticipated sales tax revenue projection [compared to] the original TSPLOST program estimate,” Williams told Atlanta City Council’s Transportation Committee, as part of a regularly scheduled (but delayed) briefing.

Renew Atlanta was a $250 million bond sale approved by voters in 2015. The “TSPLOST” is a 0.4-cent sales tax approved in 2016 that will be worth $260 million over five years. The city also counted on some $20 million in other funds. Hence $530 million.

Renew and TSPLOST promised to start on a backlog of repairs and upgrades to city buildings like fire stations and other public places like roads and sidewalks. And the city promised new works like “complete streets,” reworking thoroughfares like DeKalb Avenue, Howell Mill Road with space for for cyclists, pedestrians as well as drivers.

All those projects, including some that are finished, come to about $940 million, by Williams’ November presentation.

Renew has laid out the Pathway forward called Prioritization and Rebaselining the determining factors

  • Mobiltiy Impacts based on ATP goals

  • Equity and Access

  • Current Project Status/Phase

  • Ability to Leverage External Funds

  • Stakeholder Input/Feedback

    Public Meetings will held through January and February If residents are unable to attend a survey is available https://renewatlantabond.com/prioritization/

Public Meetings

C.T Martin Recreation Center 3201 M.L.K Jr Dr 30331

Wednesday, January 23rd Wednesday, February 27th

Time: 6:30pm

Sutton Middle School 2875 Northside Drive NW

Thursday, January 24th Thursday, February 28th

TIme: 6:30pm

Torrie Redding