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Rep. Davis to host rail forum

From Staff Reports

Rep. Steve Davis, R-McDonough, an outspoken critic of the Lovejoy-Atlanta commuter rail project, is hosting a community forum on the issue.

"This controversial idea has spawned a lot of interest, from the business community to average residents," Davis said. "It's about time we hear some facts and figures about the rail's successes or failures elsewhere in the country before the state makes such a serious commitment."

The keynote speaker will be Randal O'Toole, a transportation expert and the author of "The Vanishing Automobile and other Urban Myths." Among the panelists for the forum will be Greg Hammonds, chairman of the Henry Chamber of Commerce, which supports the rail, Roy Clack, director of the Henry County SPLOST program, District V Commissioner Lee Holman, District II Commissioner Elizabeth "BJ" Mathis, William Mecke, a spokesman for the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, Rep. John Lunsford, R-McDonough, Sen. John Douglas, R-Covington, and Davis.

The proposed rail line would have stops in Forest Park, Morrow, Jonesboro and Lovejoy, but the state DOT is still in the process of reaching an agreement with Norfolk Southern to operate the line.

The meeting will be held Saturday at the Henry County School Administration Building, 33 Zack Hinton Parkway, in McDonough at 9 a.m.