Courtesy By Annie Piekarczyk / Beacon Media
Under a new program of MARTA stimulus funding, North Fulton County has recently been allocated $6.25 million. Of that, $625,000 belongs to the city of Milton to enhance mass transportation service.
For Fiscal 2010, MARTA was authorized to use $25 million in stimulus funding (ARRA funds) to offset a deficit in operational funds. The use of those funds was to prevent a reduction in services provided by MARTA. In exchange for those funds, MARTA agreed to allocate capital reserve funds to qualifying projects within their operational area to offset the use of stimulus funding.
Milton Public Works Director Carter Lucas said the available $625,000 might be used on transportation enhancements within half an hour (approximately half a mile of an existing transit route within the city limits) of two bus routes near Milton’s City Hall.
As of Jan. 20, Milton’s staff has been authorized to pursue funding under this program based on a number of identified projects enabling a more comprehensive and improved transportation system. Such projects include filling in gaps on Cogburn Road, Webb Road, Deerfield Parkway, Morris Road, and Bethany Road, as well as upgrading signals, buttons, ramps, refuge islands and disability upgrades. Other items on the “wish list,” as Lucas referred to it, include gateway signage and streetscapes.
Also on the list are two more bus shelters on routes 143 and 185.
MILTON’S WISH LIST
“This list would be our wish list,” said Lucas, “And we could do any or all of these projects with this funding. We would not be expected to do any particular project that we so choose not to. (Rather), this resolution (will) authorize staff to move forward with inclusion of these projects with ARC.”
Milton also will soon receive $25,000 that will go toward purchasing a portable AFIS (automated fingerprint identification system) and an EWI (electronic warrant system) for the city to enhance the Fulton County Court system to make investigations and warrant procedures more efficient within the city. Such systems allow officers local means of speaking with a county judge and capturing and verifying suspects’ fingerprints quickly.
In 2009, the Byrne Formula Grants were distributed by the US Department of Justice to jurisdictions that met certain established criteria.
“Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the justice assistants distributed program grant monies to various police departments just in a lump sum without competitive application as a part of the act,” said Milton’s Assistant to the City Manager, Matt Marietta. “We were not able to apply for the grant [because] we didn’t have enough statistical data reported to the FBI.”