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Jun 20, 2012 1:39 AM

Pothole and road maintenance proposal

TUCSON - The City of Tucson is making a pothole proposition to residents of the Old Pueblo.

Here are the quick facts of what's on the table. It's a five year, 100 million dollar scenario.

Each year, 18 million dollars would go toward major street repairs. Another two million would be set aside for residential streets.

The money would come from a property tax increase.
About 18 dollars, on a 100 thousand dollar home.

The question at Tuesday's public forum wasn't do we fix tucson streets, but how.

Most everyone who took the podium agreed Tucson's roadways are a wreck.

"Anyone can see the streets are a wreck, there's holes opening up all over. There's a monsoon coming. We're looking at seven inches of rain in the next three months," said one man who addressed the council.

Sammy Newsome said, "I'm a voter, I'm a tax payer and I strongly support to rebuild our streets, thank you very kindly."

Instead of a five year plan, Newsome would like a 50 year plan. He says investing in solid streets now means viable businesses will remain.

On the flip side, long time Tucsonan Steve Mills is hesitant paying a secondary tax, "I do believe we have enough taxes. My 2002 tax bill was 682 dollars. My 2008 tax bill was 1,400 hundred dollars. I don't know its not a great percentage to your income, it sure is to mine."

"I really think you have to send a clear message, of where will the money be spent, where will the projects be," said James Coolish, who works in the construction trade. He supports the city's proposal, but wants to see a clear plan laid out.

As does Ramone Canders, a utilities contractor. He proposed an using an oversight committee to make sure the City of Tucson delivers what they're promising.

"How the money will be spent on each of the projects, land purchases, engineering, construction, inspection, testing, ect," said Canders.

The request for clearer language was seconded by Tucson's Mayor.

Two years ago, voters turned down a road maintenance proposal.

The Council meets again on the issue next week.

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