May 23, 2017
Meeting was called to order at 7:30am. City Councilman Lee Whetham led the flag salute.
Colin Martin, Lee Whetham and Jim Moran.
Jack Glaubert moved and John Brewer seconded acceptance of May 16 minutes. Motion carried.
George Bergner said “Bike to Work” had 16 events and drew 40 helmeted riders together for a photo shoot at the Farmer’s Market.
Luke Robbins mentioned that NOLA is working on building up its membership and on filling subcommittees.
Craig Fulton, Director of Public Works, presented the history and need leading to a Port Angeles Transportation Benefit District. The TBD was created by the Port Angeles City Council on April 13, 2017. It is a “separate and independent municipal corporation” and “unlike the city, it has just one purpose. That purpose is to make repairs and improvements to the City’s streets, sidewalks and alleys.”
The city cannot fund it so it will go to the voters on August 1. It would entail a 0.2% sales tax that could generate about $700,000 per year. Such a tax would add 2 cents to a $10.00 purchase. Craig said the nice thing about a sales tax increase is that everyone, even if they don’t live in Port Angeles, that purchases taxable goods in the city limits, will be contributing to the fund.
His powerpoint showed examples of the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) where PA streets are ranked poor PCI of 43 out of 100, and PA alleys are ranked Very Poor at PCI of 5 out of 100. Craig said there have been no major repairs to the 120 miles of streets and 40 miles of alleys since 2010 and many streets are over 30 years old ands in need of repair. The TBD wouldn’t fix all the streets, but could help stop the degradation. Present City funding is now seeing a drop in sales, property and motor vehicle tax and from the Mill, yet basic operational costs have increased. Funds are now usually being spent on the bridges and on emergencies. Several million dollars a year are needed but the $700,000 would be a start. State grants help the arterial streets but since only 14% of the streets are arterial, the City must fund the rest. Streets generally last 30 years but cracks, potholes and asphalt removal take their toll. Expenses for crack sealing, street sign maintenance, street marking, right of way clearing, street sweeping and even use of flagmen all eat up the street budget. This last year Tumwater, Marine Drive, Lauridsen, Ediz Hook and Marine Channel Bridge have all demanded improvements. Funding from car tabs and impact fees don’t begin to cover what is needed. The TBD will have “fenced” funds which means they can only be used for street work. They will be a start toward preventive programs.
Q & A and Comments
Q: Complete Street concept?
A: CSC is when everything such as looks, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, utilities and vehicle use are all taken under consideration at the same time. City is doing that now with Race Street.
Q: Will $700,000 be enough?
A: It will be a start since several million dollars are needed each year to help bring streets to basic standards.
Q: Can you re-allocate State and Federal gas tax fund?
A: He was not sure of the legal changes that would have to be made.
Q: Do ferry passengers, at least those not stopping in Port Angeles, pay taxes?
A: Not sure if any sales tax is collected.
Q: Permeable asphalt?
A: More expensive but does keep storm water from going into sewer system. City would like to be able to disconnect sewers from the storm water run off.
Q: Use of electric vehicles?
A: Some taxes are being collected in some areas.
Q: Mass transit?
A: A survey will be coming out soon to ask what can be done to decrease traffic in the County. The city is working on safe routes to schools, but in order to get any grants, they must have the matching funds on hand when grants are announced.
A: City is limited on funds to reopen Peabody, Ennis and Valley.
Q: Lincoln Street and other problem intersections?
A: The city is limited on what it can do with State routes.
May 30: NO MEETING
Meeting adjourned at 8:30am.