DeKALB – Under a five-year street maintenance plan presented during Monday’s committee of the whole meeting, a total of 92 streets spanning nearly 29 miles of pavement will be repaired by the end of 2022 at a cost of $16.5 million.
But the lingering question remains: How does the city pay for it?
During the meeting, DeKalb Public Works Director Tim Holdeman outlined the plan, which assumes $3.7 million will be allocated per year for streets from 2019 to 2022, and a maintenance program for 2018.
City staff requested that two must-do streets for 2018 will be Ridge Drive from Bayfield Drive to First Street and Augusta Avenue from College Avenue to First Street. There will also be a focus on the Ellwood neighborhood.
Priority streets over the next five years were then grouped together so street maintenance each year can attempt to focus on one section of town.
“This is important, because a contractor will give you more favorable pricing if his project is limited in terms of geographic scope,” Holdeman said.
Last year, about $1.4 million was budgeted for streets, $1 million of which came from the city's two tax increment financing districts. The 2018 budget, however, allocated $1.75 million for streets and loosened the reliance on TIF dollars by taking only $500,000 from the two TIF districts.
First Ward Alderman David Jacobson said it’s up to the council to identify how to fund the $3.7 million a year the plan calls for soon.
“Updates are great and presentations are great, but it’s time to get to the work that we need to do,” Jacobson said. “And that’s something that I think we should have scheduled on an agenda shortly to figure out prior to some of the budget discussions and prior to some of the staffing discussions.”
Holdeman said he hopes to bring forth an engineering contract in two weeks and move forward with contract bidding so construction can begin once school lets out.