City Council members approved a resolution calling on the City staff to come up with a street user fee to help pay for some much-needed street repairs around town.
However, part of that plan is really controversial, because it could force residents to pay for nearly all the repairs to whatever street they live on.
There is around a billion dollars worth of needed street work, and the City is still working on how to pay for all those repairs and total street reconstructions.
The City's plan is for bond packages to pay for streets to be completely torn out and rebuilt. Then, a street user fee is expected to produce about $15 million dollars a year to keep our streets maintained.
But there is another part of the deal that hasn't received much publicity. It's a plan that says residents would have to pay for 90-percent of the costs to repave the street they live on.
State law actually allows for this kind of a charge, but those on Council aren't happy about the idea, and neither are taxpayers.
"If I live on a street that only 49-percent of those residents think that that street needs to be redone, and 51-percent don't think so, and I have higher standards than they do, I may be waiting an eternity until the City finally intervenes to decide that, yes, that street needs to be redone," City Councilman Larry Elizondo said.
Of course, that is just a proposal, and an idea that Council has not signed off on.
City Councilwoman Priscilla Leal said that, if residents were forced to pay for their own street to be repaved, then it would be too much of a hardship on those living in lower-income neighborhoods. Thus continuing the cycle of streets that are not up to standard.
Staff is supposed to have the details of the street plan ready for Council to look at in a few months.
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