Turlock Now: Packed council agenda includes road tax talk

Posted by Marijke Rowland on July 8, 2013 

— The Turlock City Council has a jam-packed schedule for tonight’s meeting including discussion of a possible road tax and fees for residential street closures.

The council will discuss how to proceed with possible plans for either a sales or parcel tax to raise funds for the city’s ailing roadways. The city council held a series of public forums this spring to seek community feedback on ways to raise some $8 million needed annually to maintain the streets. 

Two primary options were discussed: either a half-cent sales tax increase or parcel tax on property owners. Any plan would need to pass voter approval, and could be on the ballot as early as this November. 

The council will also discuss whether to charge fees or drop liability insurance requires for street closure applicants in the city. 

City staff recently discovered language in the municipal code requiring street closure applicants carry some $1,000,000 in liability insurance to qualify. Previously, staff had been unaware of the requirement and no fee was charged to applicants. 

The city approves some 30 to 40 area street closure applications a year for everything from Fourth of July block parties to National Night Out gatherings. The reinterpretation of the code now requires residents to have the insurance, which can run up to $150 to $200 depending on the circumstances and insurer, though no fee from the city is collected.

Staff has proposed possibly charging a $40 fee to process applications to check for the liability insurance requirement, or dropping the liability requirement all together. 

The council will discuss both the road tax and closure fee items, but no votes will be taken at this time.

Also on the agenda is the repeal of the municipal language on parking meters, as the city has no current parking meters and no plans to install them in the future, and renewal of the Turlock Downtown Property Owners Association’s Property and Business Improvement District for the third time since its inception in 1998.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall

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