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BEND, OR -- Road work is slated to start in Bend in the coming weeks, despite the failure of a five-cent a gallon local gas tax measure. Streets Director David Abbas tells KBND News, "Through the streets funding efforts, and taking a good hard look at the city’s budget and finances, there were some one-time funds drawing down some reserve accounts in trying to prioritize the streets. We’ve got actually more work planned this summer than we’ve had in recent years."

 

But, he says it's not to truly fix the biggest problems. "So, this construction season we will see some improvement in the roads. But, with the fuels tax not passing to take care of that funding gap, we’ll be looking out to the next few years. Council will get together to discuss policy and how do we want to tackle the funding gap due to the fuels tax not passing." Abbas adds, "Over the next few years, current budgeted and committed funds will be about $3 to $3.3 million per year. The amount of revenues needed to really just kind of maintain our road structure at the conditions they are today – what I mean by that is not get any worse, not get any better – is about $4.3 million per year."

 

Roadwork will begin later this month and run through October. If the gas tax had passed, it would've allowed more work to be done toward the end of the season. Abbas plans to attend next month's city council budget retreat to offer insights into feasible stable funding sources for roads.

 

 

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