September 26, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 23

Pamphlets will explain Prop 1 in Airway Heights

Members of the Airway Heights City Council will be going door to door in the upcoming weeks to share information about Proposition 1, which residents will vote on in the upcoming Nov. 5 election.

The city is seeking to form a transportation benefit district to collect money so roads in Airway Heights can be repaired. The benefit district’s committee held a short meeting following the Airway Heights City Council’s study session Monday, Sept. 23.

Mayor Patrick Rushing said he presented information about the election item to local groups, who seemed generally supportive of it. In particular, they supported it over other alternatives, such as tax assessments.

If passed this November, the benefit district would implement a sales and use tax increase of 0.2 percent, or 2 cents on a $10 purchase. Funds would be collected from all stores in the city, allowing for purchases made by those passing through Airway Heights to contribute to the road repairs.

According to the pamphlet, residents will receive, the city has a budget of $10,000 each year to complete roadway repair and maintenance. Constructing just one city street block with sidewalks, however, is $260,000, meaning such a project would take 26 years to complete.

The city has 7.1 miles of gravel roadways, which it argues requires higher labor and material costs to maintain. There are, however, 24.9 miles of paved roads in the city, with varying degrees of quality. Around 52 percent of roads have a grade of B according to the state’s rating scale, which indicates minor repair. There are 31 percent of Airway Heights roads that require major repair, and 6 percent that need total replacement. Only 11 percent have an A rating, indicating no repairs are necessary.

According to the pamphlet, between 2006 and 2012 pavement condition ratings in the city have decreased by an average of 25 percent.

Projects funded by the taxes will be completed based on their priority in the city’s six-year transportation improvement plan, which is revisited on an annual basis. Eligible transportation projects include new road construction, sidewalk construction and rehabbing those existing structures within the improvement plan.

Public works director Kelly Williquette suggested there could be informal meetings held at council members’ homes to provide additional information to voters.

James Eik can be reached at james@cheneyfreepress.com.

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