City officials appreciative of roads funds, explain timeline

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John Williams

On behalf of the Moses Lake City Council and staff, I would like to thank the citizens of Moses Lake for their support and passage of city proposition 1. This proposition increases the sales tax collected by 0.2 percent for the purpose of constructing, improving and funding transportation improvements in the city. While the final certification of the vote is not yet final, it appears that the proposition will be approved.

Passage of the Moses Lake Transportation Benefit District (TBD) proposition means an estimated revenue of $1,350,000 annually to support projects such as repair, replace, and maintain city streets within Moses Lake’s city limits. City council felt that it was more equitable to distribute the cost of transportation repairs to all users of our city streets with the sales and use tax, as opposed to placing the burden solely on the residents of the city via the tab fee. All revenue derived from the TBD is restricted for use solely on transportation projects and may not be diverted to any other non-transportation project. In addition, the city council in the capacity of the TBD Board shall create a budget and project list for the TBD funds annually.

Again, the Moses Lake City Council would like to thank the voters for their faith and courage to invest in the protection and maintenance of the city’s transportation infrastructure.

What you can expect to see in the future

With the passage of this proposition, city council committed to the citizens of Moses Lake that the $20 tab fee shall be rescinded should the citizens pass proposition 1. Therefore, Resolution No. 2 of the Transportation Benefit District Board will be repealed on the effective date of the sales and use tax, as set forth in the Revised Code of Washington.

The Sales and Use Tax will go into effect April 1, 2018. The sales and use tax must be renewed every 10 years by a vote of the public should it be determined that new funding is still necessary. The vehicle license fees collected from October 2017 through March 2018 are already committed to transportation projects for 2018.

The city has a current backlog of unfunded or deferred projects in excess of $13.4 million. With these restricted TBD funds, the City of Moses Lake’s Street Division can now focus on repairing major projects listed on the Transportation Improvement Plan such as Stratford and Valley roads and completing Lakeshore Drive. In addition, much of the pavement in the city is in need of preventive maintenance so that the full service life of 25 plus years will be achieved. Moses Lake has 200 lanes mile within city limits and the project listed above are just a few of many that need attention — as mentioned previously, the council will develop the project for the TBD annually.

Our staff is ready to get to work on fulfilling the goals of the TBD and meet the expectations of the voters. While this may mean more construction zones in the future, these projects will go a long way to improve our transportation system and protect the investment made on these important and expensive infrastructure systems.

Once again, city council and staff are grateful for your support of this important issue and for recognizing the importance of our city’s transportation infrastructure needs. Changes will not happen overnight but I believe we will be able to look back at this election one day and see it as a community investment into our infrastructure. We have a commitment to our transportation system and can use it to attract others to our great community.

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