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City may have more to spend on roads this year

Thanks to a bill passed two weeks ago by the Senate and Assembly and awaiting signature by Governor Jerry Brown, the City of Escondido may have nearly $900,000 extra to spend on street and road maintenance.

On April 6, the Senate and Assembly passed SB1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act.  While the legislation awaits the governor’s signature, the city has received preliminary estimates on the funds it can expect to receive. It is projected that $869,400 in Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation (RMR) funds will be received during FY17/18, beginning in January 2018.

SB1 is the same legislation that will increase gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon and increase automobile registration fees. It is expected to raise about $5 billion a year statewide.

City staff will be recommending an increase in funding toward the City’s Annual Street Maintenance and Rehabilitation project from the $4.35 million previously forecasted—to $4.8 million.

The new revenues would allow gas tax funds to be programmed to fill a critical infrastructure need, the Corrugated Metal Storm Drain Repair Program. The last CIP budget included a study to assess the condition of over eight-miles of corrugated metal storm drain pipe (CMP).  The majority of this pipeline is well beyond its service life and several recent sinkholes have been caused by CMP failure.

The project would allow repair of deteriorating pipelines before they fail, as the cost to line a pipeline is substantially less than the cost to replace a failed pipeline.

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