Thursday, December 18, 2014     Volume: 29, Issue: 21
Signup

Weekly Poll
What does SLO need the most?

More housing.
More flights at the airport.
More commercial development.
More white people.

Vote! | Poll Results

RSS Feeds

Latest News RSS
Current Issue RSS

Special Features
Delicious
Search or post SLO County food and wine establishments

New Times / News

The following article was posted on June 25th, 2014, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 48 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 48

Atascadero to place half-percent sales tax increase for road maintenance on November ballot

BY JONO KINKADE

Atascadero may see better roads on the horizon, if voters are so willing.

The City Council voted 5-0 on June 24 to place a measure on the Nov. 4 ballot for a half-percent sales tax increase to generate funds for road maintenance. Atascadero is the only city in San Luis Obispo County that has yet to do so. If the measure passes in November, it will generate an estimated $2 million a year during a 12-year period and greatly augment the $1 to $1.3 million the city has been spending each year. The funds would be used for upkeep on the 139 miles of city-maintained roads, many of which stretch into long, windy country roads.

The funds would come as a great relief for the city, which generates the lowest general revenue per capita of all cities in the county yet has the most lane miles to maintain.

Public Works Director Russ Thompson said that the measure comes after his department has gone to great lengths to conduct necessary maintenance with existing funds.

“It’s getting harder and harder to find those road maintenance dollars and we are continuing to lose the battle,” Thompson told New Times.

City officials have conducted several public meetings and workshops on the ballot measure and say that while the public may not exactly be gung-ho about a new tax, there is a general understanding of the necessity to generate more revenue.

In the long term, there will be cost-saving benefits to the measure, Thompson said, because increased front-end work on pavement preservation leads to a decrease in major road repairs, which may save a little money down the road.