By Kevin Kelley
It has passed the previous three times it’s been on the ballot, and Mayor Eileen Patton hopes November 2013 is no different.
Issue 39 asks voters to renew a 0.25-percent income tax for eight years for the purposes of resurfacing and rehabilitating the city’s streets.
The taxes received go to a fund dedicated for street maintenance, and may not be used for other purposes, Patton noted.
“Obviously, it’s proven to be very successful,” Patton said of the street maintenance program, which just completed its 24th year. “We really keep our streets in tip-top shape.”
The number of streets repaired each year depends on variables such as the length of the street, Patton said. This year, Henry Road and West 226th Street, from Westwood Road to Clifford Drive, were resurfaced. In addition, crack sealing was done on several other streets. The total spent on street repairs in 2013 was $539,000.
Streets are ranked by priority of need each year, said Patton and Rob Berner, the city’s director of service. The process begins by listing the 22 streets that have gone the longest without resurfacing, Berner said. Roads with heavy traffic are also considered for maintenance, he said. Heavily used roads usually need resurfacing every 10 to 15 years, he added.
Berner said his department is still reviewing which streets may be resurfaced in 2014.
In 2005, the last time voters were asked to renew the street maintenance levy, it passed 2,794 votes, or 55 percent, to 2,287, or 45 percent.