Sales tax to fix rough roads

By Anna Carrera

Published 03/05 2014 05:35PM

Updated 03/06 2014 09:31AM

CHAMPAIGN -- Workers have spent thousands of dollars filling potholes so far this season, but with money from the city's sales tax, there's a new plan on the table. The public works department would get $300,000 to redo some of the worst roads.

The state is already doing that in other parts of the city. Crews resurfaced parts of Springfield Avenue Wednesday. The city plans to hire contractors to the same thing on roads it owns.

Public works public information officer Kris Koester says filling potholes just isn't working anymore. After a snow storm in January, his crews filled more than 1,200 in one week. That cost about $6 a piece. Since then, public works crews say potholes have been popping out after being filled. They hope by redoing roads, they won't have that problem anymore.

"The ability to be able to make permanent changes and taking out sections of the streets that have deteriorated and put something more solid there is going to be good for everybody," said Koester.

The city usually spends about $2 million a year on asphalt streets, plus another $2 million on concrete streets. The sales tax revenue will come out of the budget for the next fiscal year, which starts in July.

City workers have already started talking to contractors. They hope to get started by the end of the month.

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