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POLL: How should Bainbridge pay for road fixes?

April 26th, 2012 by tristan baurick

This week, a city report indicated the city will need to pay $2.5 million each year just to maintain the current condition of its roads. Read more about it here.

The city hasn’t been coming close to that. Over the last four years, the city has put just $1 million into its road maintenance budget. This year’s $600,000 contribution was the highest in the four-year period.

The city would have to more than quadruple what it pays now just to break even on its roads, according to the report.

So, the big question is: where’s that money going to come from?

The City Council is moving toward a ballot measure in 2013 that – if approved – would boost taxes for a big infusion of road-repairing cash, possibly in the range of $8 million.

Others say the city should better manage the money it already receives from taxpayers, spending less on overhead and more on asphalt.

And of course there’s always the $20 car tab fee that’s been debated on the island for years. The $440,000 it would raise for roads each year isn’t nearly $2.5 million, but it could help.

Or maybe roads aren’t such a big deal. Some residents have urged the city to leave the roads as they are and put more money into arts and cultural programs boosters that they say drew people here in the first place. A few islanders even prefer a few potholes here and there to keep people from speeding.

What do you think? Cast your vote in the poll over to the right.

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3 Responses to “POLL: How should Bainbridge pay for road fixes?”

  1. rotten Says:

    The problem with this poll is that 20 dollars for car tabs isn’t enough to come close to solving the problem. If the car tabs were tripled to 60 dollars and revenue was $1.2 million on them I think most folks would vote for it. Car tabs are users fees which is the best way to get a start on this issue. After a couple of years of car tab fees and further reductions in city expenses we’d have a better idea what size bond might need to be proposed.

  2. tristan baurick Says:

    Rotten,

    The $20 car tab fee amount is the amount proposed by city officials. The proposal gained little traction, and its main proponent, Barry Peters, is no longer on the City Council. I’ve heard no discussion of a larger amount.
    -Tristan Baurick

  3. Nancy Says:

    It would be useful to know if access to state or federal money is actually available, since budget cuts and car tab fees won’t add up to the amount needed. Voted bonds may be necessary to allow the city to get the roads back to a state of repair that can be realistically maintained within the city’s annual budget.

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