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.