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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mayor says Atlanta Beltline remains priority, will work with City Council to identify needed transportation projects

Mayor Kasim Reed at a press conference with environmentalists days before the T-Splost vote.
  • Joeff Davis
  • Mayor Kasim Reed at a press conference with environmentalists days before the T-Splost vote.

This week's column about Atlanta's possible next steps in a world without the T-SPLOST was limited by space and time, as all columns usually are, so we weren't able to include details from Mayor Kasim Reed about his transportation ideas.

His spokeswoman provided the following statement to us on Monday, which we've printed below in full. Reed says the Atlanta Beltline will be "among my top priorities in seeking federal funding." The mayor also plans to work with the Atlanta City Council on identifying what transportation projects could be funded by bonds.

“I am working with my Administration to identify alternate means to address the city’s transportation and infrastructure challenges. Voters in the City of Atlanta strongly supported the transportation referendum 58 to 42 percent, and are acutely aware that many of our sidewalks, roads and bridges are in need of repair. The strong performance of the referendum in the city shows that Atlanta residents understood the tremendous impact an additional $100 million over the next 10 years for local neighborhood improvements would have made, and it is disappointing that projects such as rail expansion to the Emory University/Clifton Corridor are off the table for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately, because of the city’s improving fiscal health and the growth of its reserves from $7.4 million to more than $100 million over the past two and a half years, we have the capability to go to the capital markets for funding to meet many of our key infrastructure needs. I look forward to working with the Atlanta City Council on identifying those projects in the weeks and months ahead.

Finally, transformative transportation projects such as the Atlanta BeltLine will continue as planned through funding from the Tax Allocation District, private contributions, public/private partnerships and federal resources. Tens of thousands of passionate grassroots supporters remain engaged and the city’s philanthropic and business communities continue to be invested in this dynamic initiative. I share their passion and commitment, and as such, the Atlanta BeltLine will be among my top priorities in seeking federal funding.”

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