Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Angie Lewis called it a “monumental occasion” as representatives of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce, Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce and Gordon County Chamber of Commerce stood united to express support for the 10-year penny tax to fund road projects all across Northwest Georgia.
“The projects help all of us,” Lewis said. “We’re standing at the intersection of Ga. 140 and U.S. 41. It really shows the connectivity of all of the projects on this list.”
Bruce Thompson, chair of the Bartow County-Cartersville chamber, said that, if passed, the referendum would bring a lot of jobs to the community.
“As chair of the chamber our responsibility is that we’re fostering an environment that would drive jobs and economic growth in our community,” Thompson said. “Our economic recovery hinges on what we do with this right now.”
William Thompson, a Calhoun attorney who chairs the board of the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce, said that for the past 20 years he’s been involved in economic development and that passage of the TSPLOST would speed up projects such as the Union Grove interchange on Interstate 75 that languished for nearly 20 years before it was finally funded this year.
“This is not just good for one county; it’s not just good for one community; it’s good for all of us,” Lewis said. “It’s anticipated to bring over 40,000 jobs for Region One. The list of projects from a collective perspective benefits all of us.”
A joint press release from the three chambers claims that passage of the TSPLOST would lead to the creation of approximately 4,700 jobs in Bartow County, 3,400 jobs in Floyd County and 1,600-plus jobs in Gordon County.
Lewis said the widening of Ga. 140, which would service the new Lowe’s Distribution Center, is obviously critical to the tri-county region.
The U.S. 411 connector to I-75 in Cartersville and the widening of Ga. 101 from Rome to Rockmart are also key projects to Floyd County.
Bartow’s Bruce Thompson suggested that completion of the Old Alabama Road project was important for truck traffic and other traffic to be able to ease downtown Cartersville traffic congestion. Reconstruction of the Cass-White interchange on I-75 is another key project for Bartow County.
William Thompson said the $17.5 million earmarked for the south bypass in Calhoun would give the community a comparative advantage with regard to investment and jobs.
“That is why we definitely support the TSPLOST as it applies to our community,” William Thompson said.
Lewis said the early voter information in Floyd County has been about 25 percent compared to early voting in past elections.
“Every yes vote that can get out is just critical,” Lewis said.