1. Improving Our Roads & Bridges
Fixing our roads continues to be at the top of my priority list for city council. I recognize that whatever our progress in recent years, it's still not enough. We need a focus on roads because they help support strong property values, are safer for our residents, and help avoid costly auto repairs.
We have made strides over the last four years in repairing the worst streets in the city, implementing an annual engineering assessment and grading of each street, and bringing systems on line to better manage assets & data. What's more, I proposed and successfully implemented a citywide road study to firmly get a handle on specific road conditions, lifespans, costs, and forecasts. The goal - to ensure money is being spent where it is needed most and to better plan construction and interventions to extend road life. This all has helped position the city to make decisions more thoughtfully than at any other time. But of equal importance, the pieces were put in place to create a long term plan to deal with our roads.
That plan - the Roadway Future Fund Initiative - will be on the ballot this November. It is a multi series bond proposal, generating $30,000,000 dedicated to fixing roads and bridges. The money is borrowed and spent over time in alignment with the results of our road study, matching needs with resources and ensuring we don't tear up what doesn't need to be. I brought forward this proposal and believe it's the right thing to do by taxpayers who rightfully demand better roads. It's apparent that the little we receive from state revenue share - about $600,000/year after seasonal needs - will never be enough to address the scale of our needs. The plan will ensure we can resurface or reconstruct the worst streets in the city within the first bond draw, continue fixing streets as they deteriorate, and create space in our budget so that maintenance funding is used to keep good roads in better condition longer. The city will be sharing the plan outline and frequently asked questions on the city website, in addition to hosting virtually accessible town halls in September to discuss. The estimated millage rate would be 2.6 mils on your homes taxable value, which is different than your cash value.
The choice on the bond proposal is ultimately yours. If approved, I'll make sure responsible stewardship and accountability for those taxpayer dollars are the first priority. And I will work to keep the plan on track and working as intended. If rejected by voters, I'll keep on it to find a solution that we can all get behind.