By Lanie Shipp, Executive Director of The Town Center Area Community Improvement District
"Twenty-one members with a vast array of backgrounds trimmed a list from $23 billion to $6.14 - and passed it unanimously. We have proven that the leaders are willing to work on a problem that we agreed needed work," said Atlanta's Mayor Kasim Reed. 
What does that mean? It means, that of $6.14 billion dollars, $984 million is earmarked for Cobb in the strongest regional effort yet seen in Metro Atlanta.
How? In July 2012, residents will vote whether or not to approve a penny sales tax to support projects involving roads, transit, aviation, safety, pedestrian and bike improvements. The Town Center Area Community Improvement District (TCACID) wants you to be well informed about the Transportation Investment Act (TIA) of 2010. Please give your careful attention to this article and future information linked to our website, TCACID.com, so that you can vote with confidence approximately nine months from now.
Where will the funds be spent? It is important to remember that all funds raised will stay in the 10-county region including Cobb, Cherokee, Clayton, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale.
What will the dollars support? Projects have been selected to complement and supplement existing transportation and land use plans, while improving the quality of life, reducing traffic congestion, and, enhancing safety. This effort is about jobs, quality of life and time for families, for the region and for the future.The improvements are also anticipated to reduce commute times and cut traffic congestion in key areas.
What would be some of the economic impact? For every $1 billion invested, transit creates/supports an average of 36,000 jobs. For every $1 invested, $4 (average) generated in economic return.
What specific projects are in it for Cobb? 1) A reliever & bridge on the Busbee Drive/Frey Road Connector in the TCACID area. 2) A new control tower and runway approach lighting system for McCollum Airport. 3) Premium Transit service through the TCACID area from Acworth, through Kennesaw and the Town Center area. See a complete list of approved Cobb projects.
How do other investments impact Cobb residents? Investments outside of Cobb, but, benefiting it's residents include three roadway projects [I-285 N @ SR 400, I-285 W @ I-20 and SR 6 (Thorton Road).] There are also two transit projects: a Regional Mobility Call Center for Older/Disabled Persons, and, an expansion of the GRTA Express System.
What else does the TIA offer for Cobb? The Act provides for a 15 percent discretionary funding that the county can use for eligible local transportation projects of their choosing. County staff and citizen stakeholders are working to identify Cobb's projects from lists that include: corridor safety and operational improvements, turn lanes, road widening, airport enhancements, and, pedestrian enhancements.
Who supports the TIA? That remains to be seen when the public begins to understand more of the details. But, results of an ARC Cobb County Town Hall with 16,181 participants show that 72 percent believed transit critical to region's long-term success.
Will the projects really happen? The Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission is responsible for payments and ensuring that the revenue is being spent as authorized by the list. Additionally, the legislation provides for citizen oversight of the efforts to ensure that the public, if they pass the penny tax, is getting what they voted for.
As Senator Saxby Chambliss said recently at a showcase for the region's Community Improvement Districts, "Transportation isn't just how you get around. It's how we sustain our economic growth."
 David Pendered; SaportaReport.com
 American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
The Town Center Area Community Improvement District is a self-taxing district that promotes infrastructure improvements and provides services for parks and recreation areas and facilities, land use planning, and development and improvement consistent with Cobb County's coordinated and comprehensive planning.