Tremonton planning road repair without new taxes
By Emily Jensen
TREMONTON -- The City Council on Tuesday presented a proposal to repair 24 residential roads around Main Street. And if all goes as planned, none of the estimated $2.5 million to complete the project will come from a raise in the Tremonton residents' taxes.
So where will the money come from?
Utah receives a 42-cent tax for every gallon of gasoline pumped into a car. Seventy-five percent of this tax goes to state roads, but the remaining 25 percent goes to Utah's cities and counties. Three years ago, Tremonton began receiving more than double what it had received previously from the gas tax, amounting to $200,000 per year. The City Council also gives about $100,000 to $150,000 to the road fund per year.
So, with 80 percent of this extra money, the council wants to take out a 10-year loan, repair the roads, and pay back the loan with the road funds. The remaining money will continue to be used for sanding and plowing winter roads.
"We, as a council, feel with this $300,000, we could pay off the $2.5 million road job in 10 years," said Mayor Max Weese. "We want to go for it."
With the road project being placed before the Tremonton voters, by law, the loan will have only a 5 percent interest, instead of a normal 9 percent interest.
If Tremonton's economy continues to rise, and the City Council believes it should, the $2.5 million will be more than enough to pay for the road project.
"This council is committed to not raise taxes," council member Blaine Mauchley said.
The Road Bond Proposal will be on the ballot for Tremonton residents Feb. 8. The council determined that it would not go through with the project if the town votes it down.
"If they vote no, that's fine. If they vote yes, that's great," said Mauchley. "The key is to have people vote."