Our streets are like the siding of our houses. Not keeping up with repairs means it becomes more expensive the longer we wait. The cost to repair our current backlog of street maintenance projects is approximately $9.1 million. Without additional funds, we will fall farther behind and the cost will balloon to $28.3 million by 2018.
Delayed maintenance costs 4 to 5 times more than preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance saves money and extends the life of our streets by almost 40%---a significant return on the public’s investment.
The City Council has passed a Transportation Utility Fee to pay for street maintenance. It is a monthly user fee based on the use of the road system by residents, businesses, government agencies, schools and non-profits.
The money collected through this fee will allow the City to gradually clear its current backlog of street maintenance projects by 2018 and bring most of our roads to a “good” rating. We will also be able to take care of new projects as they come on line.
The fee, which will go into effect March 2009, will appear on the City’s utility bill along with the water, sanitary sewer and storm water fees. This will control administrative overhead costs since the process for collecting the fee is already in place.
The City currently uses gas tax revenues to fund street maintenance. The gas tax hasn’t changed since 1993 but the cost of keeping our roads functioning has increased by 70%.
Gas tax revenues are determined by the number of gallons used not the cost per gallon. Additionally, fuel efficient cars use less gas but still put wear and tear on the roads. Simply put, gas tax revenues have not been keeping up with inflation and are not enough to fund our street maintenance program.
Currently, gas tax revenues fund both our day to day operations (sign and striping maintenance, pot hole filing) as well as our larger street maintenance program (crack sealing, asphalt replacement, slurry seals). The additional money collected through the Transportation Utility Fee will allow the City to clear its backlog of street maintenance projects by 2018 and begin working on sidewalk improvements and bicycle paths.
EVERYONE—BECAUSE WE ALL BENEFIT FROM WELL MAINTAINED STREETS. Each residential unit will pay a flat fee of $3.10 per month.
Apartment owners will be charged $3.10 for every unit in the complex.
In most cases, businesses, government agencies, schools and non-profits will pay an amount based on the type of business and square footage of the business.