St. Joseph’s use tax outperformed itself again this year by generating $4.5 million to be used for street maintenance.
At their meeting Monday night, the City Council passed a use tax resurfacing plan to perform work on 115 sections, or over 20 miles, of streets from all areas of the city.
The projects range from small, 20-foot sections leading to and from the Garfield Bridge, to a 3,800 foot stretch of North 25th Street from Frederick Avenue to Edmond Street.
Assistant Director of Public Works and Transportation Andy Clements said that, in combination with other city street programs, this will be a big year for resurfacing.
“With the use tax and ... with some concrete street repairs and then with the addition of our 89 sales tax, we’re doing 32 miles this year,” Clements said.
Clements said the sections of street are chosen through a rating system that takes into account the overall condition of a driving surface and the amount of traffic that uses it.
“We have a pavement rating program that objectively looks at the condition of all streets in St. Joe, relative to each other so it’s very objective,” Clements said.
Herzog Contracting Corp. is currently working on finishing resurfacing work on streets that were approved by the City Council in January, but will start working on the use tax list soon.
Clements said all resurfacing work will be finished by November.
Herzog has traditionally been the company that has bid for resurfacing, but Clements expects more contractors to become interested as the program continues to grow.
“My guess is, next year maybe, we’ll start to have some other folks bidding as well, but again, Herzog’s a local company with local employees and I’m glad that they’re able to be competitive and give us a good project,” Clements said.
The use tax adds a 2.875 percent tax on items purchased outside of the state and used in St. Joseph.
Voters approved the use tax in 2015 as a source of income to repair streets. A sunset clause has the tax set to be terminated after 10 years from its start.
A total of $7.3 million from annual sales tax, CIP sales tax and the use tax were used this year for resurfacing in St. Joseph.