Thursday, AUGUST 19th
Citizens Informational Workshop
Johnston Community College
Lobby, Paul A. Johnston Auditorium
The Johnston County Visitors Bureau encourages all local citizens, business leaders, and elected officials to learn more about the I-95 Toll Road issue and the potential impact on our communities in Johnston County. In a recent meeting, a concerned group of tourism professionals, chamber and economic development leaders heard from NCDOT more about the survey being conducted on toad improvements and how to fund the needed repairs on I-95. What we heard was “no toll, no road” which feels like we have no option but to accept the tolls.
Everyone agrees I-95 needs improvements, however saying .10 or .20 per mile is deceptive. When you do the math for travelers through our state you are really talking about $36 to $70 roundtrip. That will change travel decisions and have an impact on being competitive for economic development. Yes, all this has to be “approved”, but if we wait until the votes are cast to be vocal, I think it will be a case of ”too little too late”.
The Johnston County Visitors Bureau will be developing our own (5) points of concern and conduct surveys of residents, business leaders, elected officials and our visitors to provide additional information on this issue. I hope we will work together to get this survey out to the community, to educate them on the issues and to get their feedback. Make no mistake, this “user fee” is not just a tax on visitors, but for each one of us in the county. I personally commute on I-95 daily and at $2.50 each way to Benson, it would mean up to $1,200 a year. Will I drive US 301 like many other commuters…yes, and how can US 301 handle the additional traffic? Where would the money come from to make improvements on US 301 if there is no money for I-95?
Right now, there are more concerns and questions than answers. As leaders in our community, let’s step up and make sure we are thinking big picture and come up with the best solutions for Johnston County as well as all the communities along I-95.
I-95 Corridor Study, Citizen Informational Workshop Dates:
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Johnston Community College, Smithfield
Monday, August 23, 2010
Bill Ellis Convention Center, Wilson
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Dunn Recreation Department-Community Center
Monday, August 30, 2010
Robeson Community College, Lumberton
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Holiday Inn – I-95/Cedar Creek Road, Fayetteville