Sidewalk, road repair won't take money out of tax payers pockets - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Sidewalk, road repair won't take money out of tax payers pockets

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By: Hannah Paczkowski

Carlos Lopez lives near 9th and Sumner, an area he said gets neglected during the winter.

"These side roads, which a lot of people end up using get pretty beat up and they just do temporary fixes on them," Lopez said.

His feelings aren't alone. The results of the city's Taking Charge survey over the summer showed the majority of people in Lincoln are concerned about bad sidewalks and ruts and potholes in streets.

"Street rehab and sidewalk repair aren't glamorous, but the Taking Charge participants reminded us that maintenance and upkeep are the most fundamental of City Hall's responsibilities," Mayor Chris Beutler said.

The city is going to spend about $7 million and they're doing it without costing the tax payers any money.

First, let's tackle the sidewalks. The city will increase the amount repaired through "certificates of participation" which will be paid off in two years.

In other words, it's a shifting of funds, but the funds are coming from something the city no longer needs; leaving enough money to fix nearly 3-thousand sidewalk locations.

"$4 million of "certificates of participation" will go to fix our worst sidewalks," Beutler said.

As for repairing streets, unexpected profits from the state gas tax will help pay to repair 87 blocks of residential streets over the next year.

These changes can fix potential liability claims for the city and save tax payers money, which is something Lopez said he finds important.

"I don't want to raise any tax burden for myself or any of our neighbors or other Lincolnites," he said.

 This is only the first step in City Hall's strategic plan for transportation infrastructure. They mayor will announce a comprehensive plan next spring.


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