Invite-only Henry County meeting to discuss commuter rail

Atlanta-Lovejoy rail project being discussed today among local and federal officials

As I write this, local and federal officials are gathered at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce in McDonough for an invite-only meeting to discuss just what the hell can be done to finally make the long-planned Atlanta-Lovejoy commuter rail line a reality.

CL tried to weasel its way into the meeting, which has been called by the Atlanta Regional Commission. But no dice. Word from sources is that U.S. Reps. Lynn Westmoreland and David Scott are either personally attending or have representatives at the meeting.

Time's a-tickin' on the project. The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee told Congressmen last month it was ready to pull federal funding on people-moving projects that have languished in limbo for extended periods of time. For nearly a decade the state has sat on $87 million in federal funds to build the Atlanta-Lovejoy project. The money's there to upgrade the lines, but state and local leaders haven't been able to figure out a way to pay for the rail lines operations and maintenance costs.

More to come when we hear from our li'l birdies who are attending the meeting.