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Walking trail is on sales tax wish list
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A 10-mile walking trail that would begin near Riverview Middle School and end at War Hill Park is one of several Dawson County projects that could be funded by a regional 1-cent transportation tax.


Access roads running parallel to Ga. 400 between Dawson Forest and Harmony Church roads and a new bridge on Shoal Creek Road are also on the list of proposals to the Georgia Mountains Redevelopment Commission.


Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner said the county’s list of projects must be submitted by March 31 to be considered by the group.


“The list is not all inclusive,” he told members of the county commission last week. “If you have other roads you’d like to see, of course we would take those and add them to the list.”


Commissioners are expected to vote on the list of projects Thursday.


Once approved, the list would go before the regional commission and the state Department of Transportation to determine if the projects meet criteria set forth by the Transportation Act of 2010.


Projects meeting the criteria would advance to the Georgia Mountains Transportation Roundtable.


The roundtable, made up of representatives from each county and city in the 13-county region, is charged with identifying specific projects that would be funded by the proposed regional 1-cent transportation tax.


A referendum on the issue is scheduled for summer 2012.


Commission Chairman Mike Berg, who represents Dawson County on the roundtable, said the act sets aside a percentage for multi-use trails.


“This could be an opportunity for us if there aren’t too many people putting in for trails,” he said.


The roundtable must decide on a final project list by Oct. 15.


If voters within the district approve the tax on Aug. 21, 2012, the state would begin distributing proceeds in 2013.


From there, 75 percent of the money would be dedicated to regional projects decided by the roundtable and 25 percent would go to local governments.


The committee must hold two public hearings prior to the vote and share details of the tax, which would last 10 years.