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Beltline billions

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On Dec. 21, the Fulton County Commission became the third and final branch of government to vote in favor of a funding plan for the Beltline, a proposed $2 billion, 22-mile transit loop that would circle Atlanta, linking dozens of neighborhoods and spurring economic development on the city's south and west sides. Following votes by the Atlanta Board of Education and Atlanta City Council, the commission approved a special tax allocation district to raise funds through future property taxes on development along the Beltline. The following comments were made at the Dec. 21 commission vote:

"I was against [the Beltline] but now I'm for it. Commissioner [Lynne] Riley, you have a unique opportunity to break a tie."

-- David Rogers, constituent. The final vote was 5-1, with Riley voting for the proposal.

"We cannot set aside a billion dollars, in my opinion, legally or morally [for this project]. We don't have details -- we have nothing here."

-- Commissioner Emma Darnell

"The Beltline may be a good idea, but the citizens of Fulton County can't afford it."

-- Jacqueline Echols, constituent

"We will win the last round."

-- Darnell, after casting the only vote against the Beltline proposal

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