HUDSON — Council is considering boosting the city’s road spending by nearly $600,000 per year, thanks in large part to money officials expect will be coming from the state gasoline tax.
City Council members on Tuesday said they want to see an additional $5 million go toward the city’s road program. This money, which would be funded through the issuance of bonds, would be used to resurface the main roads during a two-year period, according to city spokesperson Jody Roberts.
Roberts said it would cost about $575,000 per year to pay back the bond money during a 10 to 15-year period. She said the city can issue $5 million in bonds due to an economic landscape that includes low interest rates, increases in income tax revenues and the projected receipt of $500,000 annually from the state’s recent gas tax increase. Roberts noted this additional revenue should allow the city to pay back the bonds “without dipping into [the city’s] annual [general fund road] budget.”
She clarified that the $5 million in bonds would be “separate” from the general fund money that is set aside for roads.
Roberts added the request for the issuance of the $5 million in bonds for roads will appear in the 2020–24 Five-Year Plan that will come before council in November for final approval. If council signs off on this approach as part of the city’s five-year spending plan, the resurfacing would start in 2020 and 2021, according to Roberts.
Roberts said this approach means the annual general fund road budget of anywhere from $2.1 million to $3.1 million can be used to resurface residential streets sooner and improve the city’s overall road conditions in a shorter period of time.
“To resurface main roads is more costly, and to do one or two each year eats up a large portion of that annual budget,” said Roberts. “With bonding out the main roads, the majority of the $2.1 to $3.1 million annually can be used for residential streets and secondary roads.”
Roberts explained that the list of the roads that would be resurfaced is not finished yet.
There will also be a change in the city’s methodology and approach to road maintenance, according to Roberts.
“By incorporating full-depth asphalt repairs into the overall resurfacing program, the city anticipates the overall costs to be reduced,” said Roberts.
She said the full-depth asphalt approach will last longer and the city will plan to use that method for roads scheduled for resurfacing in five years or more. Meanwhile, a more temporary process known as Durpatch would be used for streets slated for resurfacing in five years or less, according to Roberts.
“The city will be employing new procedures to reduce the loose gravel left over from the Durapatch process,” said Roberts.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.