By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal
Saltillo residents on Aug. 14 will have the opportunity to vote for or against a road-improvement plan that will include an 8-mill tax levy. The tax levy will come from residents’ city taxes and will add about 30 percent to their current city tax obligations, but will not affect school and county taxes. Saltillo Alderman Mitchell Brazeal answered questions about the project from the Daily Journal’s JB Clark.
Q: What made the board decide to adopt the STEP program, appoint a committee and have an engineer draw up the plans?
A: When we were preparing our comprehensive plan, questionnaires were sent to each Saltillo household for feedback on the future of Saltillo. What we heard back was that transportation was a high priority for our citizens. This resulted in the Board of Aldermen establishing the Saltillo Transportation Enhancement Program advisory committee to study the transportation needs, and make recommendations.
The board took the top three recommendations from the committee and had plans drawn for a better understanding of these projects.
Q: If voted for in August, what will the estimated project costs be and how will the funding model work and will additional funding sources be sought outside of the tax levy?
A: The estimated construction cost for these projects is: $2,555,308.30
1. Old Highway 45 Street
2. Cartwright amp& Mobile
3. State Highway 145
If the voters support this plan on Aug. 14, the city will receive approximately $233,927.32 per year for five years to apply toward these projects.
Additional funding sources from other agencies, grants etc. will be sought.
Q: If this passes and these projects are completed, what happens next?
A: There were 12 projects recommended by the Advisory committee, but the STEP tax will end in five years. Another STEP committee can be appointed in three or four years and the projects re-evaluated, but the final decision will be the voters.