Lawmakers Struggle with
Nine Alternatives is just not accurate!
The editorial labeled Nine Alterative ways to spend the money was dead wrong on every account. What is true? There are 9 other regional Loop Projects licking their chops for our money! If you don’t use the money allocated for the construction of the Garden Parkway, Gaston County loses it.
The General Assembly created the NC Turnpike Authority, now a division of the NC Dept. of Transportation, as an agency strategically designed to provide alternative funding for construction of major highway projects. The General Assembly also provided a dedicated source of revenue from the Highway Trust Fund to help repay the debt service on cost of constructing these large Turnpike projects. The amount from the Trust Fund allocated to the Garden Parkway is $35 million for the life of the bonds – approximately 35 years. State statutes are quite specific that these funds can only be used for debt retirement for this project and nothing else. If they are not used for this project they are returned to the Highway Trust and awarded instead to other Highway projects elsewhere in the state. It’s important to note that these are not discretionary, General Fund dollars earmarked for Gaston County. The fact is, they are in no way available to be used for any of the Nine Alternatives suggested in the letter to the editor from Candidate McKoy that was published in the Gaston Gazette on March 16, 2012.
Gaston County’s loss will be another county’s gain and our tax dollars will still be paying for another road that will send jobs out of Gaston County.
It is simple, you can support bringing new industry to Gaston or sending it to one of the nine areas asking for our money; Asheville, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem.
NC Turnpike Authority Board Member
Originally published on 3/20/12 by the Gaston Gazette