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September 22--  Are you willing to pay another penny in sales tax for the next ten years to fund local and regionial road improvements?

That's the question voters will answer in a transportation referendum currently scheduled for July 31, 2012.

In the 17-county Heart of Georgia region, regional projects estimated at just over a quarter-billion dollars and local projects totaling more than $115-million have been identifed by elected officials from cities and counties in the region.

Both Toombs County Commission Chairman Buddy West and Mount Vernon Mayor Joey Fountain are on the group's executive committee.

According to Mayor Fountain, "This money will be used to finance projects that normally wouldn't get done.  Without this money coming in, there are streets and roads badly in need of repair that just wouldn't happen.  I think a sales tax is the way to go because everybody pays for it and everybody uses the roads and streets."

One of the regional projects in Montgomery County would replace the Altamaha River bridge between Montgomery and Jeff Davis counties.  Other road projects in Montgomery County and in Ailey, Alston, Mount Vernon and Tarrytown have been identified totaling about $3.4 million.

Toombs Chairman Buddy West says officials will meet in Vidalia next month to finalize the list voters will be asked to approve.

"October 13th at 10:30 a.m. at the Vidalia Community Center is when the final list of all the projects in the 17 counties will be approved hopefully.  We've put a lot of work into this and that's when the 34 members of the group will come together and vote on it," West reports.

Regional projects impacting Toombs County total nearly $125 million and include replacement of the Altamaha River Bridge between Toombs and Appling counties and widening of U.S. Highway One south of Lyons plus another $5 million in local projects including paving of the Ezra Taylor Road.

The city of Vidalia has projects totaling more than $5 million and Lyons has $1.6 million in projects.

Treutlen County and Soperon have local projects amounting to about $3 million.

You can see the recommended project list at www.it3.ga.gov