COLLEGE PLACE -- City Council members Monday agreed to seek voter approval of a $7 million bond for a major road project.
Council members approved a motion to put the bond for the College Avenue-Rose Street Reconstruction project on the ballot for an Aug. 2 election. The motion passed unanimously.
"We've been successful with obtaining outside dollars for the project, but it could be in jeopardy if local financing isn't secured," said Pat Reay, city administrator.
The CARS project will stretch from the intersection of Rose Street and Myra Road to the intersection of College Avenue with Lamperti Street and Mojonnier Road. The project promises to remake the entryway and downtown sections of the city with new roadways, sidewalks, trees and street lighting.
The city expects to be able to fund about 35 percent of the project's estimated $10.5 million cost through grants, Reay said. If more grant funds are obtained, the city may not need the entire bond amount and will be able to return the excess money to voters.
"The bond issue is a moving target depending on the grant amounts," Reay told council members at the start of Monday's discussion.
According to information provided by city administrators, the proposed $7 million general obligation bond would replace the city's current fire station bond, which will be paid off in 2013.
The annual tax payment for a home with an assessed value of $200,000 in 2012 would be $92.90 for the bond. If the measure is approved, it would increase the annual payment for such a home to $140.71. That would be an increase of about $8 per month when compared to the current fire station bond.
Councilman William Jenkins said he thought "the project is well conceived. I think it's one the citizens should vote on." He made the motion to move ahead with the bond issue and seek the $7 million figure. "I see that as being the part we need to be prepared to be fully certified to fund," he said.
Jenkins also said the wording in the bond proposal should clearly state that any funds not needed or expended will be returned to citizens. Reay said that language would be included in the ballot measure.
"I think it's important we have the approval of the public on this issue," Mayor Rick Newby said about the bond measure. He said city officials will be working closely with public and private stakeholders in coming weeks to answer questions and provide information.
Information about the project will also be posted on the city's website, he said.
Andy Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8318.