Morning Sun
  • City begins look at streets

  • Now that Pittsburg City Commissioners have a dedicated revenue stream to help repair and maintain city streets, the question now is: What’s next?

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  • Now that Pittsburg City Commissioners have a dedicated revenue stream to help repair and maintain city streets, the question now is: What’s next?
    Pittsburg voters approved a .25 percent citywide sales tax increase to help bring in approximately $500,000 per year to help the city combat some of its deteriorating streets.
    Pittsburg interim City Manager John VanGorden said that the wheels are now being put in motion to get things ready for when crews can start with repair work. He said that, this winter, the city will start upgrading its asphalt plant and equipment in preparation for overlaying some streets.
    “We want to make sure everything is in good working order so that we can get ready to lay down,” VanGorden said.
    The city does not anticipate seeing any new revenues from the tax increase until July 2011 and Pittsburg Director of Public Works Bill Beasley said that there is already a plan in place as to what streets the city will look at first.
    “There are some streets that will have to be milled and we will have to get someone here to do that and we will look for bid proposals for that,” Beasley said. “We will probably start addressing the streets that we just have to overlay, initially.”
    The streets that require overlay only that the city will address first include 10th St. from Joplin to Water, 10th St. from Walnut to Catalpa, Ninth St. from Walnut to Catalpa and Michigan St. from 14th to 20th.
    “Those would be the only ones in the first year that are overlay only streets,” Beasley said.
    There are also four stretches of roadway that the city will look at for milling and overlay. Those include Tucker Terrace from Centennial to Ford, Tucker St. from Centennial to Tucker Terrace, Centennial from Rouse to Knollview and Ohio St. from Rouse to Stilwell.
    Beasley said that, with those streets, there will have to be 2 inches of the current street milled off and cracks repaired before overlay can be done.
    VanGorden said that money from the tax increase will be placed in a special fund inside the city’s general fund. That way incoming and outgoing money can be easily tracked.
    “We are going to spend the money wisely and do exactly what we told people we are going to do with this money,” VanGorden said. “Hopefully, by the end of 2011, people will see that we are moving forward and we are spending that money wisely.”
    But, there is the prospect that tax revenues may come in under the $500,000 estimate.
    “If it is less, we will do less streets and if it is more, we will do more,” VanGorden said. “It all really depends on the economy.”
    However, for right now, VanGorden said that the issue is making sure there is transparency regarding any incoming revenues from the sales tax increase.
    Page 2 of 2 - “We will be able to show anyone, at anytime, just what has been collected and where that money has been spent and on what streets,” VanGorden said. “Every penny we collect is going to go just where we said it would.”
    Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140

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