MARIETTA, Ga. -- Cobb County Commissioner Bob Ott says a $3 million environmental impact report approved by his fellow commissioners is a waste of taxpayer dollars because there is no money and no immediate plans to build any of the mass transit projects it would examine.
The county had hoped to fund the mass transit projects with proceeds from the transportation tax. But when voters resoundingly rejected the transportation referendum, it left the county without the money or means to build the projects which are now on indefinite hold.
"It's a waste of money because environmental studies are timely in nature," Ott said. "So, if we do it now and nothing happens for two or three years or more, it's not worth anything and we have to do it again."
Chairman Tim Lee, however, stands by the environmental impact report as well as an earlier study looking at which transit projects would best ease congestion and traffic in the county.
Chairman Lee says the two studies cost a combined $4.8 million, with $4 million of the funds coming from the federal government.
Lee rejected Ott's suggestion that the county cancel the contract and shelve the environmental impact report.
In a prepared statement, Lee wrote, "When this study is completed, we will have identified the most effective solution for this corridor. That information will then be used to guide Cobb as it plans for the future. This study remains a priority for Cobb County."