What will Bremerton’s new car tab fee buy?

The in basket: I’ve been reading the recent news articles about the city of Bremerton’s newly enacted $20 car tab fee to raise money for the repair of city streets. I was expecting some discussion of specific projects that might be accomplished with the money, but the articles were limited to how much would be raised and when.
Over the last few years, I have gotten inquiries from Janet Gupton and Jeff Johnston about prospects for improving the poor condition of Kitsap Way from Highway 3 to Kitsap Lake and Pat (no last name) about Naval Avenue between Sixth and 11th streets, as well as others.
I asked city engineers what is likely to be done first with the money to be raised.
The out basket: City engineer Tom Knuckey and street Engineer Gunnar Fridriksson were unable to provide such specifics, because those decisions are yet to be made. They will be the work of what they call the Public Works Committee with the final decisions to be made by the City Council. Those choices will come in early 2012.
Gunnar, however, sent along the most recent annual rating of pavement conditions that show which city streets are in the worst shape. Arterials and collectors (omitting residential streets) are listed from worst to best. The rating is on a scale of 1 to 100, with anything under 10 in need of complete removal and replacement.
The ratings will be among the things the council will consider in choosing work to be done.
Kitsap Way from Austin Drive to Birchfield Drive and just north of Auto Center Way is among those rated zero. So is Naval Avenue from Seventh Street south. North of Seventh it scores slightly better and the block between 10th and 11th is judged quite sound.
Also on the zero to 9 list are portions of Austin Drive, Callow Avenue, Harlow Drive, Marine Drive, Rocky Point Road, Preble Street, Shorewood Drive, Callahan Drive, Old Wheaton Way, Union Avenue, Schley Boulevard, Sheridan Road, Lebo Boulevard, Oyster Bay Avenue, Marine Drive. High Avenue, Price Road, Sylvan Way and even short stretches of Sixth and 11th streets.
Well over a mile of West Belfair Valley Road, a city street by dint of it’s being part of the annexation of the city watershed, rates a zero to 3.
And that includes nothing classified as a residential street, a category that comprises 61 percent of the city’s lane miles. Of those residential streets, 8.67 percent also are rated 0-10.
Clearly, there is a large pent-up demand for street repair in the city and city officials are already on record saying the extra money will pay for only about an eighth of what really should be accomplished each year, about a mile of repaving per year. If you hope your residential street can get a cut of the money, you’d best be prepared for some politicking at the city council level in the new year.

6 thoughts on “What will Bremerton’s new car tab fee buy?

  1. Rather strange statement:
    City engineer Tom Knuckey and street Engineer Gunnar Fridriksson were unable to provide such specifics, because those decisions are yet to be made.

    Usually you find a need then raise a tax.

    This might lead some to believe that this tax won’t go to road repair, but rather maybe some more fish statues or downtown beautification.

  2. The city, acting via its transportation benefit district, is doing it backwards, as they have from the beginning. The tax revenue may be used only for certain projects, and those projects should be selected first–then the needed revenue to do them can be known as well as the purpose of the tax.

  3. The issue, I believe, is not the additional tax, but rather trusting the council to use it for road repair. And I really don’t understand why the priority of repairs is a political one. To me, it should be which road is in the worst state, not whose friend lives on it, or which one looks bad from someone’s window. Another issue – what material will be used for repaving/patching? If it is to be the same material used on Pacific Ave., save your efforts. That material is already deteriorating. I’m also wondering if the Bremerton PWD will do the work, or will it be contracted out. The repairs to 18th St. between Perry and Winfield is one of the worst. It has already sunk at least 6 inches, and in other areas more. Poor workmanship. Are we to expect more of the same?

  4. Ha ha ha. Bremerton pulled a fast one on the people. How did the city settle it’s deficit budget? Not by laying off public works workers who were scheduled to be laid off but by the following:
    ” The city reallocated $137,600 from streets supplies to streets employees.”

    So Bremerton, don’t look for those potholes to be filled with asphalt. On the bright side, there will be more workers to spot delapidated roads and more voices to say why there isn’t enough money to do the job.

  5. I find it outrageous, that the Bremerton city council, would choose to increase out tabs $20 in this terrible economic climate. Evidently the Mayor goes along with this plan. Don’t let her sit on the fence in this one. She must be trying to lead from the rear. If your not with us tax payers, then you’re against us.
    I can show you streets that haven’t been touched in at least 50yrs. and that is through some good times. It looks like Bremerton leaders can’t decide the priorities. Roads are on top of the list. Every thing else depends on transportation. The city seems to squander monies in better times and wants to wring us out of money in bad times. If the City of Bremerton can’t control the budget, we should un-incorporate and become more prosperous like Silverdale.
    Haven’t our B&O tax, driven enough business out of town? We will pile on with more tax? Like that will help! With the approach Bremerton uses, if it wasn’t for the Navel Base and Shipyard, the town would be all but boarded up.
    Remember Tim Eyman (not even our elected representative) trying to save us money by getting a 60% vote on limiting car tabs to $30? Tim acts more like (our) representative then most in Olympia. Does any one think the Court throughout the passed measure with little regard for politics? And all of a sudden the Legislature passed a BRAND NEW $30 car tab law. Sense it was a new law, it was without restriction to start over and add any new fees that came into the head of the Legislators or bean counter. To make it palpable to the City Regulators a prevision was added that without a vote of the people, a City could just impose a $20 extra charge.
    At the very least, every city council person voting for this, should be voted out of office along with the Mayor, unless she strongly comes out against it and request it be taken off.

  6. Funny how the new fee goes in and still nothing worth noticing has been accomplished with the $20.00 fee/tax. We got milked again! It’s probably going out to tax gobbling or heavily subsidized SKIA land.

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