OAKDALE -- Freshly paved streets, safe routes to school and bike paths are just a few of the ways Oakdale would benefit if the half-cent transportation sales tax passes in November.
At a meeting Monday, council members reviewed a list of projects the city could fund if voters pass the tax increase.
City staff divided the funds among seven projects and categories, which wasn't specific enough for council members. Mayor Farrell Jackson said the more specific cities are with their plans, the more likely voters will be to support the tax.
It's tough for planners to say how the money would be spent because they do not have concrete plans and contracts for each project, said Deputy Director of Public Works David Myers.
On the list presented to the council Monday were plans to:
Repave more than 10 miles of roads -- $5 million
Improve Orsi Road between Sierra Road and F Street -- $3 million
Create safer routes to schools, bike paths and trails (Cottle Trail, Valley View to Kerr Park, South Bridle Ridge and more) -- $2 million
Work on unidentified projects -- $1.7 million
Install signals at various intersections -- $1.5 million
Improve Sierra Road from Fifth Avenue to Pedersen Road -- $1 million
Install traffic-calming devices (speed bumps, roundabouts) at various locations -- $500,000
Council members wanted to know, for example, where the traffic signals and calming devices would go.
"I think taxpayers expect accountability to some degree," Councilman Tom Dunlop said.
In this case, "taxpayer" refers to anyone who buys something countywide. For every dollar spent, the tax sets aside a half-cent to build and maintain the area's transportation system.
If two-thirds of voters approve the tax, Oakdale will get about $734,000 a year. That's about three times the city's current transportation budget, Myers said. In 20 years, Oakdale would have accumulated $14.7 million for transportation projects.
That's just one slice of the pie, half of which would be divided among the county and its cities. Larger cities, or those that generate more tax revenue, would get a bigger slice. The other half of the pie would go to regional projects.
Bee staff writer Eve Hightower can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2382.