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The Tualatin City Council will finalize on Feb. 12 whether to send a $20 million bond to city voters.

TIMES FILE PHOTO - One area of improvement would be along Tualatin-Sherwood Road if a transportation bond is sent to Tualatin voters.
The city of Tualatin is likely to ask voters this May whether they would support a $20 million transportation bond measure that would seek to relieve some of the city's congestion and address traffic safety problems as well.

The council came to that conclusion Jan. 22 following a lengthy work session debating the most prudent amount to approach voters with, in order to fix some of the city's most pressing traffic problems.

If a $20 million measure were sent to voters, it would pencil in at about 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value or roughly $132 annually for a median-priced Tualatin home.

Stakeholder and focus groups, along with telephone survey, all have shown support for a transportation package.

During the meeting, consultant Clark Worth of Barney & Worth told the council that a telephone survey involving 300 residents shows that 91 percent of residents believe that traffic congestion is a serious problem in the city. The poll showed that voters were willing to pass a levy for $14 million or $28 million (65 percent and 60 percent, respectively).

However, while 18 percent said they would oppose the measure outright without hearing an amount of increase on property tax bills, that amount jumped to 35 percent when they learned it would potentially cost $200 annually.

The majority of the council's discussion was centered on what the correct amount would be to fix some of the city's traffic issues while still getting many of the needed projects completed.

Among the priorities will likely be addressing congestion along Tualatin-Sherwood Road, synchronizing traffic signals and creating pedestrian crossing with beacons throughout the city.

Still, the council discussed the importance on being united in the need and the dollar amount of the measure with councilors generally teetering between $14 and $25 million. Discussion also centered on the likelihood of spreading the bond out over 10 years.

No final decisions can be made in work sessions and the council will return on Feb. 12 to finalize its discussion.

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