Renewal of the North Baltimore Street Resurfacing Levy –
From North Baltimore Mayor C. Michael Julien
In May of 2005 the voters of the Village passed a 2 mil levy for the expressed purposes of reconstruction and resurfacing of our streets. This levy was renewed in 2010 and on November 4th a renewal of the 2 mil levy will once again be on the ballot. This is not an additional tax and will not increase the current taxes for any property in the Village.
With the sewer separation project having just been completed, many of the streets were dug up and are again in need of being repaved. Village Council is preparing a five year plan for repaving streets with priority being given to those streets that are most frequently used and/or are in greatest need of attention based on existing conditions. Other streets that were not disturbed during the sewer separation project in the community are in a deteriorating condition and in need of long term corrections as well.
Without renewal of the street levy, funds for the resurfacing/repaving of streets must be taken from the Village General Fund which is the money collected from the Village Income Tax and other revenue sources. With the current economic trends throughout the region, these revenues have not kept pace with material operating cost increases. Requests for grants and other income generating efforts to offset the financial shortfalls have been unfruitful. Spending controls have been implemented for departments utilizing General Fund revenues with the Street Department projected to experience significant shortfalls should the levy fail to be renewed. While pothole repairs and basic street maintenance will continue, funds are insufficient to allow any major street reconstruction projects to be undertaken. As a result, the Finance and Public Works Committees of Council met jointly to discuss the issue and concluded that it is imperative that the street levy be renewed, if street reconstruction projects are to move forward.
Village Council will continue to seek grants from County, State and Federal agencies and, with approval of the streets levy, will be in a position to use the funds collected from that levy to match any approved grant funds which in most cases will effectively double the investment made by our community. Even in the event that we receive no outside funding in a given year, with renewal of the levy, the Village would still be able to make continual progress towards the goal of repaving some street surfaces within the corporation limits every year.
The time has come for North Baltimore to brighten our landscape and erase the scars of the sewer separation efforts by using the revenues collected from the street levy to have the streets professionally reconstructed and crowned. Utilizing funds from the Storm Water utility, the Village will also be working to develop a plan to install curbs and gutters in those areas that are presently lacking those improvements. This effort will be less aggressive in implementation than proposed repaving projects but will be an on-going plan that will eventually improve property values overall.
A review as of the planned repaving projects identifying a list of streets we have prioritized for the upcoming five year period is listed on the village web site at www.northbaltimore.net. Below is a listing of several of the streets we have designated for reconstruction or resurfacing for next year:
2015 Street Improvements
North Main Street (100 & 200 blocks)
Not all streets have buried utilities beneath the road surface and we have identified and prioritized a number of streets in future schedules having urgent need of reconstruction. In addition, some of the streets are planned for resurfacing even though there are buried water and sewer lines under their surfaces. This is due to the current poor condition of the street surfaces and the delayed time frame for replacement of the utilities for that area.
What we will NOT use the street levy funds for include:
Paving any alleys
Private drives and lanes (except entrance aprons)
Pothole repairs and temporary patches from water digs
Tar and chip resurface coatings
Equipment maintenance and replacement
Wages and benefits for employees except while engaged in road
reconstruction or resurfacing projects as identified on the list
New streets and roads in potential or future developments
Any other unrelated purpose or need of the Public Works Department or any other department
In summary, our streets are in obvious need of reconstruction following the sewer project with the only viable funding source to meet this need being the renewal of the street resurfacing levy. The funds from this levy will be dedicated to the sole purpose of rebuilding the sub-base of the road bed as needed and paving with asphalt, or other equally durable surfacing processes for the streets of the Village of North Baltimore. We strongly urge you to consider the benefits of this major community improvement and invest in your community by saying YES to renewing the street levy this November 4th.