The city of Brookings has crafted an extensive list of streets staff would like to see improved or replaced if voters approve a ballot question in May asking them to reinstate the 4-cent fuel tax that sunsets this year.
The city does not propose to raise the gas tax at this time, but merely reinstate it for five years. The five-year road construction plan would cost an estimated $1.41 million, an increase of almost $175,000 from 2009 estimates, according to City Manager Gary Milliman.
Voters first approved a gasoline tax in 2015 to replace a System Development Fee on water bills and dedicated to road maintenance. The SDF brought in about $137,000 a year, but a study showed that the city would need about $300,000 a year for the next 10 years just to keep up with needed work.
The city favored the gas tax because it would put much of the cost of road repair on those who use them most — including tourists passing through and Californians who stock up on gas here to avoid the higher prices in Del Norte County.
The city not only had to convince voters about the value of the trade-off, but had to determine a gas-tax rate to charge. The largest gas station in city limits is at Fred Meyer, and officials there declined to reveal how much gas was sold every month, saying it was proprietary information.
Oddly, state revenue officials said they didn’t have the data showing what each county pays to the state for its tax, leading city staff wondering if Oregon works on the honor system when gas stations pay their taxes.
Regardless, it left them guessing. They got a fairly good estimate when a councilor went to Fred Meyer when a gas delivery was being made. He asked the driver how much each tanker carried and how many trips they made to the store each day.
Armed with that information, the city council deduced that a 4-cent per gallon tax could generate close to $300,000. A stipulation in the ballot question also prevented the city from collecting over that amount.
Currently, the tax brings in about $287,000 a year.
Roads to improve
In 2018, totalling $288,384:
•Ransom Avenue from Fawn Drive to Pioneer Road
•Frontage Road from Ross Road to Elk Drive
•Spruce Street from Alder to Oak.
In 2019, totalling $293,586:
•Alder Street from Hemlock Street to Spruce Drive
•Fifth Street from Barbra Lane to Ransom Avenue
•Memory Lane from Railroad Street to Tanbark Road
•Hemlock Street from Alder to Oak streets
•Seventh Street from Pioneer to Meadow lanes
•Seacrest Lane from Glenwood Drive to Arch Lane
For 2020, totalling $294,247:
•Valley Street, from Hillside Drive to Pacific Avenue
•First Street, from Ransom Avenue to Easy Street
•Kevin Place, from Hassett Street to Ransom Avenue
•Ransom Avenue and Mechelle Lane, both from Kevin Place to Fawn Drive.
For 2021, totalling $282,320 and comprising cul-de-sacs:
•Easy Manor Drive
•Sandy Lane and
•Mill Beach Road.
In 2022, Allen Lane and part of Lundeen Lane are tentatively scheduled.
Milliman said he’d like to include Lundeen Lane, which was not on the original list, because the extensive work at the Azalea Park ballfields is attracting more traffic. Additionally, the First Baptist Community Church has purchased land there and would be required, as a new development, to have sidewalks, curbs and gutters built. It is not known when church construction might start, however, Milliman said.
The city is also recommending the council set aside $100,000 to do overlays, rather than full “grind and pave” work, on Parkview Drive and Third Street.
Reach Jane Stebbins at firstname.lastname@example.org .