Delaware City Council will discuss a possible tax levy to fund transportation projects at a work session today.
The matter was first discussed at the council’s last meeting. Today’s meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St.
“A proposed 0.15 percent income tax levy would generate an additional $2.2 million annually that would be divided between network resurfacing and maintenance, and network improvements,” said an executive summary sheet given to council recently.
In a 2015 “Community Attitudes Survey,” half of Delaware residents said they were dissatisfied with traffic congestion in the city, and a quarter of the residents were unhappy with the condition of the roads.
“If we want the future to be better and brighter with respect to our transportation system, it’s going to require funding,” City Manager Tom Homan said at a council retreat Feb. 27. “It all comes back to money.”
City Engineer William Ferrigno told council there were 52 improvement and expansion projects of varying priority that have been identified for the city. Some of those projects could be development-driven, or receive funding from the county, state or federal government, but there are many that the city would be responsible for. The city also has a five-year resurfacing program, as well as maintenance plans for street lights, guardrails and other needs.
The city’s public works department has said that the longer a street is allowed to deteriorate, the more it will cost to restore it. For example, the cost of asphalt has increased more than 200 percent in a decade.
Last week, the city hosted an informational meeting on one of its projects, a proposed improvement of the East William and Lake street intersections. Also last month, city crews studied traffic patterns at 20 east side locations between the Point and downtown Delaware, including Winter Street and Central Avenue.
Among the street projects, council members have said improving the Point is one of their top priorities.
The city has said a comprehensive traffic study will be completed by May. A levy would require the approval of council before it could appear on the ballot.
Also on the agenda for today’s work session is consideration of a new liquor permit/transfer exempt permit for the Scoreboard Pub & Grille, 6 Troy Road, formerly known as the Final Score. “The TREX permit process requires a city endorsement and acknowledgement that this transfer will be to an economic development project,” states the Delaware Police Department’s liquor permit report.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.