Lincoln News Messenger
March 18, 2016
By Steve Archer

A proposed county-wide, half-cent sales tax increase – which may appear on the November ballot – could provide Lincoln with nearly $2 million for street maintenance and rehabilitation, a city councilman said Tuesday.

City Councilman Stan Nader, a member of the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) board of directors, said it is his understanding that $1.86 million would be available to Lincoln for street repairs if the measure is approved. The proposed ballot measure requires a two-thirds vote for approval.

“It would be huge,” Nader said, in an interview with the Lincoln News Messenger. “We could do so much to bring the streets up to the standards our residents expect.”

“I’m looking forward to articulating to our residents why it is important to have skin in the game,” Nader added. “I’m not in favor of more taxes but I am in favor of good streets.”

Nader said the proposed ballot measure includes a citizen oversight component.

“Obviously, we are asking the citizens to pay something extra,” Nader said. “We want them to be able to weigh-in.”

And, Nader added, it is important to begin work as soon as possible because “most of the downtown streets don’t have a base underneath; it’s just asphalt on top of dirt.”

Mayor Spencer Short said putting money toward resurfacing and rebuilding downtown streets is critically important.

“A block or two off of Lincoln Boulevard and you see streets in disrepair and creates a negative perception of the community,” Short said. “We need to continue to repair streets built 50-60 years ago.”

A schedule of work for downtown streets was released Nov. 10, 2015 by Lincoln City Engineer Ray Leftwich.

“We are focusing the roadway rehabilitation on downtown streets,” Leftwich said at the Nov. 10 city council meeting. “Our challenges are a limited budget, ADA improvements and drainage.”

Leftwich said he would like to coordinate the timing of the street work with the city’s annual sewer and water main replacement projects.

“Many of the water mains are substandard and in need of replacement,” Leftwich said Nov. 10.

Leftwich’s pavement management plan proposes to spend $395,000 from the 2015-2016 budget on a cap seal of Seventh Street from Lincoln Boulevard to East Avenue and a cap seal of C Street from McBean Park Drive to Ninth Street.

From the 2016-2017 budget, Leftwich proposes spending $575,000 on a cap seal of Sixth Street from Lincoln Boulevard to R Street; a cap seal of H Street from Third Street to Seventh Street and a cap seal of East Fifth Street from East Avenue to the end of the street.

According to a report prepared by Leftwich, the cap seal costs between $4 to $6 per square yard compared to a thin overlay, which costs $24 to $32 per square yard, or a full-depth reclamation which costs $50 to $55 per square yard.

According to a report from the PCTPA, a half-cent sales tax increase could raise $1.6 billion over 30 years. A key element to the proposed measure’s spending plan is a requirement that 30 percent of the funds raised be allocated to the cities for local road rehabilitation and maintenance.

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