Seasonal gas tax is our best option

I love this town.

It has been a long time since we have seen so much positive and progressive activity in Estacada. My wife and I have made Estacada our home for almost 30 years. There have been many ups and downs, and yet I still love this town.

I love how so many people step up and volunteer to accomplish so much. This year’s Summer Celebration is just one example of Estacada folks making great things happen.

Just about every week our Chamber of Commerce has positive inquiries from people who are looking for a place to live just like Estacada. At this time next year, we will all be enjoying our new streetscape of Broadway, funded by urban renewal dollars. Check out the city website for more details on the Broadway Streetscape Project.

And have you checked out the new places to eat on Broadway? I could go on about the great things happening in our little town. All these things are happening because Estacada is full of people who know how to get things done.

So, Estacada, what are we going to do to fix our streets?

I think we would all agree that our streets and sidewalks could really use some attention.

Councilor Michele Conditt has been working hard to bring this issue to our attention, and has asked for your input on how we can best fund our much-needed street repairs.

At the first public input meeting hosted by Conditt, most of the people present were supportive of a seasonal gas tax as a way to partially fund our street repairs.

At this meeting, it was explained that our only source of stable funding to repair our streets is through the state gas tax. The amount that comes to Estacada from the state (about $150,000 this year) is nowhere near enough to keep our streets in repair.

Our city staff has been successful in acquiring many grants from various sources to help us, yet still we have a long way to go.

One of the best features of a 3 cent per gallon seasonal gas tax is that we can tap into much of the tourist traffic through the summer season. Our local newspaper pointed out in last week’s paper that this proposed tax will not be a big burden on any of us, but is the best alternative to provide stable funding for our streets.

The newspaper points out that “For a vehicle with a 20 gallon tank, we’re talking about 60 cents in taxes. If you need to fill up three times a month, that’s $1.80 a month. That’s less than a large cup of coffee at a convenience store.”

I encourage you to do the research and talk to me or any city councilor about this issue.

The bottom line is we need to find a way to provide some stable funding for our street repairs.

I love this town, and I think we can get this done.

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