The city of Springfield will begin repaving several streets this fall using part of $6.7 million being generated annually from a 5.5-year income tax increase approved by voters last year.
Construction will soon begin on parts of North and South Kensington Place, Englewood, Dibert, Race, Farnham, Broadway, South Jackson, College and South Clairmont streets in the city.
Springfield residents voted to raise the city’s income tax for 5.5 years from 2 percent to 2.4 percent, approving it with more than 66 percent of the vote.
The tax will generate an additional $6.7 million annually. For a worker making $30,000 a year, it will cost an additional $10 per month. That worker’s municipal taxes would increase from about $600 to $720 annually.
The money will also be used to add more police officers and replace cuts to state funding to maintain current services.
“(The city is) doing about $2 million of residential streets, of the neighborhood streets. Those are the smaller streets that we don’t always, we can’t actually don’t qualify for state funding for,” City Manager Jim Bodenmiller said.
In the past the city spent about half a million dollars a year on repaving streets. The city will also pave larger streets as well like South Limestone Street. The city has acquired state and federal money to handle a few larger streets. Smaller neighborhood streets do not score high enough to get state and federal money, Bodenmiller said.
“There’s about 10 of the neighborhood streets; the residential streets we are talking about and two of the larger streets. In addition to finishing up some projects from last year,” he said.
That’s why the city needed the income tax increase to pass.
The streets were chosen based on the city’s point system and which are heavily used.
“The conditions, things, looks not just at potholes but the actual entire surface of the street, the drainage areas, the sub surface. The things that people don’t often see,” he said.
The city will also repair sidewalks, curbs, gutters, handicap ramps, manholes and utility work.
Springfield resident Malique Blackburn is happy work is being done on city streets. It has been needed, he said.
“It’s just time to lay down new streets, new sidewalks, get the new era going,” Blackburn said.
The 20-year-old college student lives in the northern part of Springfield and says most of the streets are great, not all but most. He mentioned there are two streets he does not like driving on — Euclid and Selma.
“Potholes like every five seconds and you really can’t catch a break from all the bumpiness, it’s just, it’s terrible,” he said.
Those streets are not on the city’s list but Blackburn hopes they will be added.
The residential streets projects will go out for bids at the end of April. It takes about five to six months to redo a street Bodenmiller said. He also said the actual paving will begin in October and November.