The Richmond City Council discussed the use of their half cent Transportation Sales Tax at length Tuesday night. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade speak with City Administrator Ron Brohammer:

Ron Brohammer

Since voters passed the measure in 2001, two-thirds has gone to street repairs, upgrades, and maintenance. The rest went to storm water control and maintenance. As of Tuesday’s vote, a small portion may now be used for sidewalks.

“Sidewalks are part of the transportation system, as determined or defined by the state legislature,” said Brohammer, “And the notion here was to take maybe $10,000 or $15,000 a year, whatever the Council decides, but that’s at least what I had in mind, was maybe $10,000 or $15,000 a year out of that Transportation Sales Tax to use in a partnering program with residents.”

If a resident has a sidewalk they want replaced, the City will be able to do a 50/50 match with that person.

“Certainly Council has had a considerable discussion over it. And there’s a point to be made that some folks would say, ‘We voted for that sales tax all to be used on streets and/or storm water.’ And the other side says, ‘Well, yes, the sidewalks are important and they’re part of the transportation system, too.’ And they are. People walk in the streets because many places our sidewalks are very, very poor.”

Council also approved a replacement for the cemetery truck, which was stolen and set on fire in June. “So our notion was that we would buy a new truck that was really tailored to the need out there. Council thought that spending the money for a new truck for that purpose was not prudent, and so we’re simply going to use one of our existing trucks, older trucks, that we’ll take out of the Street Department and public works, and put into service at the cemetery.”

The street department truck will still be available as a snow plow. It will cost about $3,000 to equip this vehicle to meet the needs of the cemetery. The City will take the dump truck off the vandalized truck, purchase a new hydraulic pump, and install it on the Street Department Truck.

Council also approved a rezoning request on Crispin Street. A senior assisted living facility will be constructed in the area.