Local News

May 20, 2014

Dalton takes over Veterans Drive expansion

— City of Dalton officials hope they can speed up a plan to turn Veterans Drive into a major north-south corridor to relieve some of the congestion on Glenwood Avenue.

City Council members voted 3-0 on Monday to approve an amendment to the 2007 special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) agreement that gives the city oversight over the Veterans Drive project. Mayor Pro Tem George Sadosuk generally votes only in the event of a tie.

The 2007 SPLOST agreement gives Whitfield County oversight over all the projects it will fund.

“We hope that by taking some of the burden off the county we can expedite this project,” said Dalton Public Works Director Benny Dunn.

Dunn said the Veterans Drive project is the No. 1 project for the city of all the remaining SPLOST projects.

The city has already bid out the appraisal for the remaining 78 parcels for right of way on the project and officials say they hope to make offers to the owners later this year. Dunn said the city hopes to put the project itself out for bids around the first of 2015.

The project has a right of way budget of about $2.2 million and a construction budget of $3.2 million, all of which will come from SPLOST funds.

The basic plan calls for extending Veterans Drive south to East Morris Street.

Council members also voted 3-0 to:

• Authorize the mayor pro tem to accept a Georgia Department of Transportation contract to obtain land near the Dalton Municipal Airport to clear obstructions to the runway. City Administrator Ty Ross said they expect the contract to come from the state in the next several weeks and the council’s Monday vote saves them from having to have a special called meeting to accept it.

• Accept a $10,821 grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to conduct an inventory of the city’s three historic districts. The inventory of buildings in downtown Dalton, the McCarty subdivision and the Murray Hill subdivision districts has not been updated in three decades.

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