PASO ROBLES — If local Measures K and N are approved by city voters on Nov. 6, the City of Paso Robles will be ready to move forward on its six-year street repair plan.
The plan was approved by the City Council back on Sept. 18 and spells out the roads in the city that the funds generated by the half-cent sales tax increase will be used.
“I really appreciate this peek into the future and I think the voters will appreciate it also,” said Mayor Steven Martin at the Sept. 18 meeting. “Because one of the common concerns we have brought to us is ‘we need to know exactly what it is that we are getting.’ So I think that putting this down in graphic form people will be able to say, ‘OK this is exactly what we are getting.’”
Measure K is a half-percent sales tax measure put on the ballot by the city. If passed by a simple majority of the voters, the limited-term, general tax increase is expected to raise $4.75 million per year over its six-year life to “upgrade deteriorating streets and sidewalks; and address other general revenue purposes.” The measure also requires annual audits, quarterly reports to a citizens oversight committee and all funds must be spent within the city.
Measure N is an advisory to Measure K and if approved by voters clearly tells city staff that the revenues from Measure K are to be used “primarily for repairing and maintaining the city’s streets and sidewalks.”
Measure K would add another form of funding to the city’s road improvement program.
City voters approved Measure E-12 — nearly 59 percent voted yes — a half-percent sales tax measure in 2012 for roadwork in the city. That tax sunsets in six years and has generated $22.9 million.
Since 2013, the city has spent $18.744 million of Measure E-12 money on road projects and is budgeted to spend another $9.789 million to improve city streets. Highlights include nearly $4.3 million spent on the middle and southern portions of Spring Street. Another $3.8 million is planned to be used on the north end of Spring Street from 24th to 36th.
Paso Robles Capital Projects Engineer Ditas Esperanza showed a map of the roads in the city. Roads highlighted in red indicated completed or scheduled road work from the 2012 sales tax measure through 2024. The work was spread out across the city, but mostly on the east side.
She also provided a second map that included completed and projected road work using both supplemental sales taxes — blue for the proposed Measure K and again red for the 2012 measure.
If Measure K passes, the major streets identified for work include Niblick, Vine, Charolais, North River Road and Riverside, just to name a few.
The council was pleased with the six-year plan and the balance seen in the projects across the city.
“I think this is a good balanced approach and I hope we can do it,” said Councilmember Fred Strong.
Measure K and N are two of four measures before voters this election cycle.
The other two are Measures H and I.
Measure H asks voters to decide if they want the City Clerk to be appointed. Currently, the City Clerk is an elected position and is currently held by Dennis Fansler. If approved by voters in November, the City Clerk will be appointed by the City Council or City Manager after a review of candidates with appropriate certifications. The City Clerk is the elections officer for the city and is also responsible for maintaining public records and ensuring the city’s compliance with the California Public Records Act.
Measure I is the city’s marijuana tax. It does not make it legal for recreational marijuana businesses to open within the city limits, but rather puts the framework in place to tax cannabis-related operations if and when they are allowed by the council. If the measure is not passed, the city will not be able to tax recreational marijuana-related businesses.