BEND, OR -- City Councilors will meet with members of the Street Maintenance Funding Committee Monday to discuss their conclusions. The group was formed to help guide Councilors on how to fund $80 million in needed road repairs.
Committee member Justin Livingston says he still isn't sure what they concluded. "I still don't know what exactly we're presenting, other than the fact that we're just giving the Council a lot of data in order to make their decisions. I really don't feel that the committee has created very solid recommendations to Council."
Livingston tells KBND News the committee agreed to improve the city's Pavement Condition Index (PCI) to prevent skyrocketing road costs in the future. But how to reach that goal is still up in the air. "I don't feel that we're even giving the council a recommendation on the funding level that they should try to achieve. When you don't specifically define what your funding needs are, it's hard to come up with a funding mechanism for that."
There was consensus on the only two avenues that could raise the necessary funds - a local gas tax or a transportation utility fee. Livingston says, "We might have gave them, the people who favor a gas tax, I think the committee provides a little political cover for that. But, I don't see that we actually gave them [Councilors] a whole lot to make decisions on."
City Councilors and the committee will meet at City Hall, beginning at 5 p.m. Monday.