NEVADA CITY, Calif. September 23, 2016 – Ten years ago this town’s voters took decisive action to resurface all 20 miles of its streets by adding a one-half cent sales tax. The vote was an enthusiastic 80 percent in support of Measure S in the November 2006 election.
So, how did that work out?
Former Nevada City Engineer Bill Falconi still rides herd on the annual summer street construction projects and the roster of road repairs for this past summer includes York, Cottage, Nivens Lane, Beckman, Argall Way and Lower Georgia streets. Many of downtown Nevada City’s sidewalks also were refurbished. This summer $350,000 was spent on street work and $100,000 on sidewalks.
“We’re about 80 percent complete on the job that started in 2007,” Falconi told The Messenger.
He set up the work on Argall to take place starting in late afternoon as shops there closed and street work went on into the night.
Original estimates were that Measure S would generate $7.3 million in street repair funds. Income stands at about $4.5 million right now Falconi says. “We’ve always kept a positive balance; never spent more than we had.”
In fact he has been adept over the years at collecting supplemental funds, such as federal money to build safe sidewalks in school areas. The extra money helped extend the tax revenues in times of business downturn and dwindling sales tax.
Still far from complete the ambitious Measure S project stands as a rarity in government operations. It is doing exactly what it promised would be done, within budget.
Editor’s note: The Mountain Messenger, California’s oldest weekly newspaper since 1853, is published on Thursdays from Downieville, California.
The Mountain Messenger can be purchased for half a buck at the National Hotel (sidewalk), Nevada City SPD (outside), Nevada City Express Mart (outside) and in front of Safeway, Brunswick area.