Toll Road Proposal Has Supporters and Detractors

The Washington County Commission's decision to pass on the proposed toll road may have a larger impact on a Wiregrass county.

Naomi Sheffield manages a small Slocomb eatery. With talk of a toll road passing between Slocomb and Malvern, she says it may bring additional customers.

However, she doesn't know at what price; would it outweigh the benefits of small town life in eastern Geneva County?

"On a toll road, they are rushing and not going to stop here, or the ice cream shop, or the gas station down the street,” Sheffield says. “Nobody has convinced me that this is a positive deal.”

Joey Merritt and his family have operated a Slocomb business for 30 years.

Plans of the toll road may directly impact a portion of their 200 acres along the Houston County line.

"We have land on the other side of Malvern, near Taylor and the Houston County line. I don't know what kind of an impact it may have on it," said Merritt.

Slocomb Mayor Vickie Moore says that she sees economic benefits, but wants to sit down with elected officials and the people before making any decisions. "I see an economic boost, but I want to have a consensus with other elected mayors before making a personal decision on this road project.”

Last week, Geneva and several Wiregrass county commissions approved resolutions in support of the toll road project.

The Focus 2000 group pushing the toll road would like it completed within five-years. It’ll stretch from the new Bay County International Airport on Panama City Beach to Montgomery.

We'll continue to bring you the latest developments in regard to the toll road project as they become available in coming weeks and months.

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