Tucson Council to put $100m bond before voters

Last night Tucson’s City Council voted to put on the ballot a $100 million bond measure for roads. The monies would be allocated yearly for 5 years in $20 million increments.

$18 million will be used for major streets and $2 million for residential streets annually.

According to the City, the impact to the property tax of a homeowner living in a $100K home will be approximately in $18 per year, depending the rates at which the bonds are ultimately sold.

Kozachik voted with the majority of the Council on approving the bond measure. City Councilman Richard Fimbres was the lone “No” vote. The election is expected to cost taxpayers $350,000.

While the bond money is not enough to maintain the roads, the City will be applying pressure to the Legislature for HURF money.

In the meantime, the City of Tucson’s streets administrator, Kurt Hough, has been on administrative leave since October 14, 2011, according to City Manager Richard Miranda.

TPD is investigating whether city street maintenance workers have been improperly using city equipment and resources for personal gain. They are investigating city employees suspected of using city equipment and materials on freelance jobs.

On Tuesday Kozachik said that he has been hearing support for the measure, but on June 20, Kozachik cited “data” which indicated that “46% surveyed said they’d definitely vote in favor, 33% said they would “possibly” vote in favor, and the remaining 21% weren’t so sure about supporting the package. Depending on how you read the numbers, that’s between 40% and 50% of the people who will not support the bonds at any level who don’t trust us to manage your money.”

Kozachik wrote that opposition stems “in large part from the Rio Nuevo mess. It will not be resolved in many peoples’ minds until there’s a bow tied around that issue once and for all.”

At this Friday’s Rio Nuevo District Board meeting, that bow should be put in place with a new CFO, announcements of found money, and increased spending.

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