[LFC Comments: Thanks to the News-Herald for this article on Mayor Potter’s reversal on his proposed tax increases for their road repairs. Hopefully, they can find some magic answers to solve their road problems.]
Kirtland plan for road funds withdrawn
City officials seek to engage residents more in process for long-term fix
By Betsy Scott
email@example.com @ReporterBetsy on Twitter
A proposal to fund renovating Kirtland roads is back on the drawing board.
City Council’s Nov. 16 agenda included legislation to reduce the income tax credit to residents who work and pay taxes outside the city from 1.75 percent to 1.0. The city’s charter authorizes a 2 percent income tax.
The financing plan was laid out over 15 years and the .75 credit reduction would have raised nearly $1.3 million each year. Under Mayor Kevin Potter’s proposal, Kirtland voters would have been given the choice to raise the income tax rate to 2.5 percent. This would have required a charter amendment.
However, Potter asked that the legislation be withdrawn prior to a vote.
“We did so to take a step back as Council and Administration so that we can further engage our residents in considering the best path forward,” he said. “We all agreed to get back to work right away to find the right balance and approach to fund the comprehensive road program developed by our team.”
The mayor commissioned the city engineer and public works director to author the road paving plan and cost of implementation after evaluating their condition.
The program would not only rehabilitate or repave 20 miles of city roads, but also include a maintenance plan and schedule for the next 10 years.
About $17.4 million is needed to implement the plan during the next decade, city Engineer Doug Courtney said previously.
The eight-page draft document was created using a 2018 analysis by CT Consultants, based on pavement condition ratings. Top priorities include Springer Drive, Booth Road, Springer Circle and Wisner Road.
“I look forward to working with Mayor Potter, fellow Council and the business community on developing and presenting a menu of long-term palatable funding solutions for our residents in order to address Kirtland’s road paving program,” Councilman Matt Shulz said.
The last citywide comprehensive paving program ended about 25 years ago.
The road situation has been a rocky one in the years since, even after residents passed a new five year, 2-mill levy in 2014. The revenue fell well short of the need, officials said.
Last year, former Mayor Doug Davidson attempted to bolster the general fund by pursuing a replacement police levy as well as a renewal of the road levy. Council voted down the legislation 4-3. Potter, among the dissenters, called the police levy “a road levy dressed in a police uniform.” He was elected mayor in November 2019 after campaigning, in part, on developing and implementing a road improvement plan.