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PROVO VOTERS TO DECIDE ON ROAD REPAIRS

SHARE PROVO VOTERS TO DECIDE ON ROAD REPAIRS

Residents will have an opportunity next week to decide whether they'd like their trips around town to be a little smoother in the future.

Voters will take to the polls Tuesday to consider a $6.6 million road bond for residential street repair.The city will not need to raise property taxes to pay for the bond, said City Engineer Nick Jones. Instead, the new bond would be paid for by a previous tax increase for an $8 million general obligation bond in 1986. The city raised property taxes $30 per year on a $75,000 home nine years ago.

"What it will do is extend the bond repayment eight years," Jones said.

City Councilman Jim Daley said all the bond money is for residential roads.

"We have a lot of bad roads in Provo," he said. "If it isn't going to raise your taxes, why not fix the roads?"

Many of Provo's streets are in disrepair. Engineers recommend that local streets be sealed every nine years. Some Provo streets have not been sealed since they were constructed. Some have deteriorated to the point that water has penetrated into the road's substructure. Repair costs can be four to five times as much as they would have been if roads were properly maintained over the years.

The city has completed a comprehensive study of road conditions and prioritized a list of streets targeted for repair and improvement.

Jones said the 1986 bond was only enough to repair arterial and collector roads such as University Avenue and Center Street. Those streets and 30 percent of residential streets were repaired, according to the city.

"If the bond isn't passed the money budgeted so far will be put to maintaining arterial and collector roads," Jones said.

Residential streets will not be repaired if the bond does not pass, Jones said. Some residential roads haven't been repaired for more than 30 years, he added.

According to the city, money committed to fix crumbling roads and sidewalks has been doubled, but it is still not enough for all the needed repairs. More than $1.7 million was budgeted for the 1994 and 1995 fiscal years. The city budgeted $391,764 in 1993 and $879,040 in 1992 for roads and sidewalks.

All registered voters are eligible to vote. Registration and voting location information are available by calling the city recorder at 379-6524.

"I think it will go through and we'll get a lot of roads fixed," Daley said. He said he isn't aware of any organized resistance to the bond.