The final public open house giving Brighton voters a chance to converse with City officials on their plan to pay for road improvements is coming up next week. A recent review from the city’s engineer of the roughly 30 miles of roads in the City of Brighton showed that approximately 75% are in poor condition.

On Tuesday, August 7th, Brighton residents are being asked to override the Headlee Amendment which will allow the city to begin correcting this issue. This override will permit the city to levy the full 20-mills authorized under city charter. Because of reductions triggered by the Headlee Amendment, they are only collecting around 15.65-mills from taxpayers. This 4.35 difference, if re-instated, would generate roughly $1.85 million dollars a year and be used exclusively on roads. A resident with a home taxable at $75,000 will pay $326 more per year in city taxes. This breaks down to roughly $0.89 per day.

Public Works Director Marcel Goch estimates it will take 40-$50-million dollars to get the roads to where they need to be. The override proposal is for 10 years which means it will generate approximately $18.5-million over its lifetime. City Manager Nate Geinzer said that is enough to get them on a new system for continuous repairs and maintenance. Geinzer said the goal isn’t to fix everything at once, as that will put everything on the same cycle, meaning this problem will rear its head again in the future. He said the goal with this money is really to get a down payment and an up-front investment on a sustainable, comprehensive streets program. In the program, the city will break the 10-year override into a series of smaller 2-year plans. That way they can focus on repairing the streets that need it most each cycle, while also putting money into better streets to help keep them that way.

In anticipation of the vote on August 7th, City Council has been running public open houses to talk with taxpayers and share their visions of the program. There is one more meeting scheduled before the override request goes to vote. It will take place next Wednesday, July 25th, from 6pm until 8 at City Hall, downtown. More information can be found online at (MK)