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Kent City Council considers 2014 street projects from B&O tax revenue
The Kent City Council leans toward spending business and occupation (B&O) tax revenue in 2014 to fix up a bunch of street repairs rather than one large, expensive street project.
Tim LaPorte, city public works director, recommended the longer list of projects as the "best bang for the buck" during discussion at an Oct. 1 council workshop. The four council members who attended the workshop seemed to agree.
"I'm inclined to go along with your recommendations," Council President Dennis Higgins said. "But we also need to continue the discussion on the funding side because we have not completed that discussion. We've made a big down payment on it and I'm grateful to the community for that but it hasn't solved the problem yet."
The council adopted the B&O tax last year to raise funds to repair streets. The tax became effective Jan. 1. Revenue for 2014 is expected to be about $4.7 million, said Tom Brubaker, interim chief administrative officer.
Higgins said the council had hoped to raise more funds for street repairs but voters last year turned down a proposal for a street and parks levy. That property tax measure would have brought in about $10.7 million over six years for street repairs.
"I'm OK with this but I want everyone to keep in mind the whole bang for the buck versus the big project conversation," said Councilwoman Jamie Perry, who added in future decisions the biggest need might be the larger road project.
The council is expected to approve a project list later this year. Les Thomas and Dana Ralph also attended the workshop. Bill Boyce, Deborah Ranniger and Elizabeth Albertson had excused absences.
The more expensive projects not recommended by staff for repair at this time include asphalt overlays along South Central Avenue from the Green River to Willis Street ($4 million); East Valley Highway from S. 212th to 196th ($4 million); East Valley Highway from S. 196th to 188th ($4 million); 80th Avenue South from 196th to 188th ($1.5 million); and South 196th Street from Green River to 72nd Avenue South ($4.5 million).
The proposed list of recommended projects includes about $2.6 million for a new layer of asphalt along North Central Avenue between Smith Street and South 228th Street as well as $1 million for asphalt overlay along South 212th Street from 84th Avenue South to State Route 167.
City staff also proposed the following list of repairs for another $1 million:
• Concrete street panel replacement
Gowe Street downtown; Military Road South from S. 243rd St. to 247th.
• Asphalt street inlay
South 260th St. from Pacific Highway South east 500 feet; S. 228th St. west of 64th Ave.; S. 200th St. between 80th Avenue and 84th Ave.; 76th Avenue South from 212th St. south to Pozzi Brothers; Sixth Avenue north at South 228th St. (south side of intersection); S.E. 208th St. about 600 feet of westbound lanes east of Benson Road; and S.E. 260th St. each side of 104th Ave. S.E., one block east and west.
• Sidewalks (lifted or broken sections only)
64th Avenue South from S. 220th St. to James St.; East Valley Highway from S. 190th St. to 212th St.; and Gowe St. from Central Ave. to Kennebeck Ave.
• Traffic signals and streetlights
Communication to Panther Lake area signals; battery backup power supply to 27 cabinets at intersections; battery replacements; director loop replacements in street for signals; and streetlight pole replacements.
• Neighborhood traffic control program
100th Ave. Southeast between S.E. 208th St. and S.E. 216th; 42nd Ave. S. between S. 250th St. and S. 253rd; and S.E. 223rd/224th St. between 116th Ave. S.E. and 132nd Ave. S.E.