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City leaders ready to hit the stree

Will Maupin - Courtesy photo
Will Maupin
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By CHARLES MELTON

Editor

The idea of an additional $20 for car tabs in the city of Bremerton has been tossed around like the waves in the Sinclair Inlet the past few months, but so far it’s all been speculation.

However, all that will change at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the council chambers of the Norm Dicks Government Center when the Bremerton City Council hosts a town hall meeting to discuss funding options for street paving projects.

“This is our No. 1 priority and it’s time to get to work on it,” Council President Will Maupin said.

Although the proposed parks levy went to voters in November, streets have always been the No. 1 priority for both the council and the public, Maupin said.

“We can’t have a good city with pothole filled streets,” he said. “We need to have a good street grid.”

Because of the waiting periods attached to the new state legislation which allows the city to consider a $20 car tab increase, the parks levy went first, but streets have always been the top priority, he reiterated.

City public works director Phil Williams will present the possible funding options for street paving projects and also explain to the public the existing constraints facing the city in its efforts to improve its street grid, Maupin said.

“He is going to explain what we’re able to do with our existing funding and the rating system and how we come up with our paving plan,” Maupin said.

Currently city crews can only do so much with the limited funding available, but before council members embark on any new initiatives to resolve the existing situation, public input is vitally important, he said.

“We are going to gauge the public’s tolerance for $20 car tabs to help upgrade the streets,” he said.

The Port of Bremerton commissioners passed a non-voter-approved property tax levy in February 2007, which was met with great angst from the public, and was pointed to as a factor in the failure of the city’s proposed parks property tax levy.

Instead of having several council district meetings, the hope is that the town hall meeting will draw larger numbers of concerned residents to weigh in on the issue and also educate the public on all of the factors involved in the potential resolution of what Maupin called “a crisis situation.”

For those who are unable to attend the town hall meeting, Maupin said people are encouraged to call the council office at (360) 473-5280 or e-mail the council at citycouncil@ci.bremerton.wa.us.ts

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