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Dallas Citizen's Advisory Group Suggests Gas Tax For Roads

DALLAS — A Dallas citizen’s advisory committee studying street maintenance has made a minor change to its recommended plan to keep the city’s local streets in working condition.

Reconvening for a meeting on Oct. 14, the committee evaluated the impact of two new factors: the option of a local gas tax and a revised cost estimate for street repair. The new recommendation was presented to the Dallas City Council on Nov. 3.

“They (the committee) made a recommendation to you earlier this year,” City Manager Ron Foggin said at the council meeting. “Since that recommendation, we have actually gone out and used a third-party engineering service to re-evaluate the streets and their conditions and costs to fix those streets.”

The cost to repair residential streets was slightly less than anticipated, coming in at $15 million, down from $20 million. Ongoing maintenance is estimated to cost about $660,000 annually, according to the new report.

“The condition of the residential streets wasn’t as far off as some had thought it might be,” said Jason Locke, the city’s community development and operations director. “It actually tracked pretty well with our projections that were based on the data we had at the time.

“There were some differences in the total cost of repair and that was primarily due to different techniques that were introduced as part of a potential repair and maintenance regime,” Locke added.

Foggin noted the moratorium on cities charging local gas taxes also was lifted earlier this year, adding it to the options the city could consider. Using the city of Canby for comparison — similar in its population and distance from a metropolitan area — the city estimated that on a 3 cent tax, it could collect about $250,000 annually.

“That local gas tax option is something that will have to go to the voters,” Locke said. “That is not something that the council can impose on its own.”

The committee decided to stick with the first part of its original recommendation, a 10-year, $10 million general obligation bond for street repair, but voted to add a local gas tax to options to raise the $660,000 needed for annual upkeep. The city receives about $200,000 from statewide gas taxes to maintain streets.

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