Lee: Study needs an additional $368,000
by Jon Gillooly
August 10, 2013 11:55 PM | 2291 views | 6 6 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — County Chairman Tim Lee’s wish to pay an engineering firm $368,000 more than the $1.4 million the county is already paying for a transportation study is being met with raised eyebrows by at least one commissioner.

The Board of Commissioners agreed to pay Dutch engineering firm Arcadis $1.4 million in February to prepare a transportation plan, a study the county conducts every five years to be eligible for state and federal grants.

Lee plans to ask the Board of Commissioners to raise the bill to $1,768,000 Tuesday.

The chairman said the initial $1.4 million payment was for the firm to conduct an engineering analysis of the county’s transportation needs.

But about two months ago, Lee said he decided the report should include what the community wanted its transportation improvements to be as well as how the county could go about paying for them.

“I think it needs to all be done at once,” Lee said. “What are our needs? What does the public think? How do we fund it?”

Lee said he made the decision to expand the scope of the report “after thinking back on past programs and how the landscape and community involvement has changed my last couple years. I figured this is going to be a big update, this is going to be a multiple year (report), and I just felt that it was a better way to go about it.”

Yet Commissioner Bob Ott said he has a few questions about the added $368,000 expense.

“I have concerns about a 25 percent increase in the contract,” Ott said. “I’m wondering what the increase in scope is because at the work session all the things that appear to be being added we were told they were going to be there, so how did the scope all of a sudden change from the original $1.4 million contract?”

There are a number of other transportation reports the county has commissioned, such as the $1.8 million “Northwest Corridor Alternatives Analysis” study led by Marietta-based Croy Engineering, which recommended the county build a $1.1 billion bus system connecting Kennesaw State University with Midtown, Atlanta. The county is also paying Cary, N.C.-based Kimley-Horn and Associates $3 million for an environmental study of the proposed bus route, expected to be finished next summer.

Lee said those studies will be folded into the Arcadis report, which he expects the board will receive in fall 2014.

Lee said while he personally favors the KSU to Midtown bus proposal, he won’t do it if it doesn’t have support from the community.

Part of Arcadis’ job is to find out was residents want. He acknowledged with a dose of skepticism that the study could even show that residents want to build a monorail like the one former county Chairman Bill Byrne once considered.

“Who knows? I’m for jet packs myself,” Lee said.

The meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday, will be in the board room at 100 Cherokee St. in Marietta.

Comments
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FROM TEXAS
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August 13, 2013
So is this money going to be used for an illegal ad campaign for the Ludacris Light Rail that has bankrupted all cities that have adopted it? Rain Man’s plan is what the Cobb chamber wants a and it’s all about building Buckhead North. Sounds like Lisa Cupid’s area is going to get mugged again when real bus service would help her area but it all about big money development!!
AmericanMale
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August 12, 2013
Mr Lee is a liar. He is NOT for anything that could solve the problems with traffic. He IS for anything that could bring in federal money. Unfortunately, doing that wastes MILLIONS in LOCAL tax dollars and does not solve the problem!!! Buses and streetcars are technologies proven to fail fiscally.

If he were truly interested in the best solution, he would invite a PUBLIC vetting / discussion on both local system technologies which offer to provide true solutions at little to no cost to taxpayers. His "jet packs" comment is an attempt to belittle innovation. It takes courage to implement anything new.

After T-SPLOST's massive loss, "leaders" concluded that they just hadn't done a good enough job communicating and being PERCEIVED as listening to citizens' input. They're still plowing ahead with their agenda, regardless of their rhetoric. If Timmy-Faye's lips are moving, what's coming out is likely to be untrue.
Confessional
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August 12, 2013
If we would just confess that dependence on the private automobile for daily transportaion is a fatal failure that we can't afford directly (car,road,gas) or indirectly (medical, $368,000 studies, pollution), we could save a lot of money and finally move this place forward.

Or we can keep burning it down daily. We all need "I HEART WILLIAM TECUMSAH SHERMAN" bumper stickers for bumpers.
FROM TEXAS
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August 12, 2013
Funny how you think the socialist European model is the answer just saw a liberal study on food deserts in America. This women didn’t have a car nor a grocery store near her and how much trouble it was to ride a bus and walk to get food. The real reason there isn’t a grocery store is it was shop lifted so bad the big chains couldn’t afford to keep them open. Remember once you’re locked into what the government wants you to do your life choices are only what the government will let you do. Detroit tried all this and the liberal blacks and Democrats killed one of the most productive cities in America. Remember they have had a liberal mayor since 1958 so how’s that working for America.
lena k
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August 11, 2013
According to the vote Cobb county WILL NOT support this and Tim Lee needs to be VOTED OUT OF OFFICE. People wake up
Hank Moody
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August 12, 2013
lena k - any reason you care to give as to why you are not supporting this? What evidence are you citing that Cobb County will in fact not support this? Lot's of screaming from your end, me no likey.
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