Chamber hosting forums on referendum

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 19, 2002

Residents will have a chance to learn more about the transportation referendum this week.

The Suffolk division of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Suffolk Tomorrow are sponsoring two community forums on the Hampton Roads Transportation referendum that will appear on election ballots across the region on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Dr. Douglas Naismith, president of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy and chairman of the Suffolk chamber division, will speak at the first meeting, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Holiday Inn-Suffolk.

Email newsletter signup

The second conference, also being held at the hotel, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept 25. William Giermak, president of Obici Hospital and chair-elect of the Suffolk chamber, will conduct this forum.

Both meetings are free but reservations are required due to limited seating. Anyone planning to attend should call 664-2611.

The referendum will allow voters across the region to decide whether they will support a 1-cent-on-the dollar sales tax increase to fund six road projects in Hampton Roads. The measure would raise the sales tax from 4.5 cents to 5.5 cents.

Of the six projects that would be funded, the one with the most significance to Suffolk would be improvements proposed for U.s. 460 from Bowers Hill to Zuni.

The referendum would also fund a third crossing between South Hampton Roads and the Peninsula.

The sales-tax increase, which would not apply to food and nonprescription drugs, will be lifted after the money borrowed for the six road projects has been repaid.