By Roger Utnehmer
Showing unity, collaboration and consensus the Sturgeon Bay city council on Tuesday approved an April 3, 2018, referendum on a one-half percent sales tax increase on non-durable items with the money going to improving local streets.
Council member David Ward headed up an ad-hoc Committee on Funding Local Streets and Infrastructure. His nine-member committee recommended the sales tax hike in order to fix aging streets that have outlived their design life. The tax, called a Premier Area Resort Tax, is used successfully in several cities similar in size to Sturgeon Bay with apparent success.
Ward also said the committee recommended some short-term borrowing to improve streets.
The report stated that Sturgeon Bay has sixty-seven miles of streets with only 1.2 miles being replaced annually. That means it would take 56 years to cycle through all sixty-seven miles of city streets. The recommended replacement cycle is twenty-five years.
Sturgeon Bay will need a total of $720,000 to successfully restore city streets, with $620,000 allocated to resurfacing and $100,000 for preventive maintenance.
Several council members commended Ward and those serving on the Ad Hoc Committee for their hard work and recommendations.
The entire report is available below.