By Cynthia Germain
The City of Sturgeon Bay had appointed a committee this year to look at issues and funding of local streets as well as paths and sidewalks. David Ward, District 3 Alder, and seven private citizens representing the districts served on the committee and spent much time and effort to come to recommendations for addressing the conditions of streets and how to finance future work. Currently, resurfacing of roads are done every 55 years, and the committee recommends that this be reduced to 25 years. In addition, Ward notes the need for a preventative maintenance schedule on existing good roads.
To finance the projects and work, the committee has offered a recommendation for a premier resort area tax, similar to what other communities such as the Dells and Rhinelander has done to fund road maintenance. This is a sales tax on consumables and Ward indicates that this is aimed to increase tax income by not just residents but tourists coming to the area.
The committee did not note specific road projects but took a global approach to maintenance activities for better roads. The city engineer and the Board of Public Works currently has a list of needed work, and Ward also indicated the need for some short-term borrowing for immediate resurfacing needs. Also to be considered are sidewalks for major heavy traffic streets and safer pedestrian rights of way. The committee will continue to be active in promoting its recommendations that, without action, may lead to some roadways to deteriorate beyond repair.