Dead End for Street Repair List

Macomb, IL – Macomb does not plan to take on any major new street repair projects in the coming year.

City Administrator Dean Torreson projects the half-cent infrastructure sales tax will pay for just two projects in the budget year that begins May 1. One is completion of the Ward Street work. The other is the northeast side water main project.

"The recommendation from the (public works) committee is to be very conservative next year as far as project spending," says Torreson.

The Infrastructure Sales Tax Fund will start the budget year with a projected balance of $551,000. The city anticipates spending $198,000 on Ward Street, $160,000 on the water main project, and $200,000 on street construction materials for a total of $558,000.

The city estimates the tax will bring in $860,000, which would leave the fund with a closing balance of $853,000.

Torreson says money might also be needed for a couple other projects, but spending would only occur if grants are awarded to help pay for them. Those projects are reconstruction of University Drive and enhancement of the train depot parking lot and bus transfer station.

Sixth Ward Alderman Tim Lobdell thinks voters want to see more of the sales tax money put toward street repairs. "Those were the kind of projects that we really sold the sales tax on and I think we need to try and keep that focus out there," says Lobdell.

Alderman At Large Dennis Moon says the city council could prioritize street projects while working on next year's budget. But he thinks the city will not have much money with which to work.

"I think we're looking down the road of possibly losing on the census, which will have a tremendous impact on our motor fuel taxes," says Moon. "The immediate outlook isn't real rosy as far as revenue."