Butterfield council seeks bond issue for street improvements

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Butterfield City Council voted to place a $200,000 general bond issue for street improvements on the upcoming April 8 ballot.

"This is not a revenue bond," said Georgia Wenell, Butterfield city clerk. "It is a general bond issue that will be financed through gas and vehicle taxes that we already receive from the state, so it will not require an increase of any kind."

According to Wenell, the increased revenues from the general bond issue will be used to repair and extend streets in Butterfield. The council hopes to address problems on all city streets.

"When the sewer was installed in 2003 the bond and grant funds were supposed to be sufficient to cover the repair of the roads, according to the engineers," said Wenell. "When additional expenses came up, the funds for the road repairs were used. The streets were never repaired from the installation."

The aldermen plan to schedule two public hearings regarding the general bond issue. The meetings will be held in March and during the first week of April. Specific dates will be set during the council's regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 18.

The aldermen hope this ballot issue will fare better than the city's proposed street tax did last year. Voters opposed the tax issue by a two-to-one margin in April of 2007.

That tax issue, which would have increased the city's tax rate from 48 cents to 98 cents per $100 valuation, was projected to increase street revenue by around $7,000 annually. The aldermen planned to use the extra funds to chip and seal a percentage of city streets each year.

"We are not increasing taxes, and we are not increasing utility rates to finance the bond," said Wenell.

Streets are currently maintained through a state gas tax, which generates around $1,000 per month.

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