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Gooch added to transportation projects board
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State Sen. Steve Gooch was named last week as the senate appointee to the Georgia Mountains Transportation Roundtable.


As designated by the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, each roundtable is charged with vetting and proposing specific transportation projects for their region, which would be funded by a voter-approved transportation special local option sales tax referendum to be held in 2012.


State Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, made the appointment, saying Gooch “understands the urgent need to build a 21st Century transportation system here in Georgia to compete in a global economy.”


“He will be an invaluable asset in developing area-specific projects that fit his region’s most pressing needs for transportation improvements and expansion, yet tie into an overall statewide vision that will grow our economy and bring much-needed jobs and businesses to Georgia,” Mullis said. “It is time we get Georgia moving forward.”


A former department of transportation board member, Gooch said he looks forward to using his knowledge of the state’s transportation issues to help the roundtable move the region forward.


“The roundtable will be working closely with the DOT and its planning director to develop projects that respond to our community’s needs,” said Gooch. “Giving voters the ultimate say on what projects are funded is the kind of local control that makes government most successful.”


If approved by the voters in a referendum, the legislation provides for a 1 percent regional transportation sales and use tax to be imposed for a period of 10 years in 12 newly created special tax districts based upon the 12 existing regional commission boundaries.


Dawson County Commission Chair Mike Berg represents Dawson, Lumpkin and White counties on the board.   


Once a final list has been approved by the roundtable, it will then go before the voters in the region for a July 2012 referendum vote.