Posted: Dec 20, 2012 6:03 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
Updated: Dec 21, 2012 3:43 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - There's been lots of discussion this week about the proposed street user fee. The money would be used to repair and maintain major thoroughfares. But what about residential streets like the one that you live on?
Well, there's also a staff proposal for funding those projects, but it could be costly to homeowners.
It's called a Street Assessment Program and the city has used it before.
The program would allow neighborhoods to get the streets outside their houses fixed.
But there's a catch. Under the proposed plan, homeowners on the street would have to pay 90% of the cost, where the city would be the remaining 10%.
More than half of the people on the street would have to agree through a petition process to opt into the program.
And under state law, the city can force neighborhoods to have assessments done.
Theresa Kinney lives on Woodlawn Drive, a street that was fixed under a plan like this 10 years ago. She says paying for the renovated street was well worth it.
Her street used to have ditches where sidewalkes should be and no real drainage system. Now, it's better paved with complete sidewalks and drains.
"It's an investment for me. You know, it makes my property value increase," Kinney says.
We asked another resident about her street, which is in desperate need of repair. Carmen Munoz says she can't accept this plan.
"I think the city should pay for it. I think they're responsible to take care of the streets," Munoz says.
Councilman David Loeb says a better plan would be to incude the residential streets in a bond package and rate them from worst to best.
"That way, if your street is not the one that is the worst, you know that yours is next in line or 10th in line," Loeb says.
But Assistant City Manager Oscar Martinez says it's hard to get everyone on board for non public streets.
"What is the likelihood of getting support from the entire community to reconstruct a residential street that I don't even use," Martinez says.
The City Council will consider the plan after the New Year.
Councilmembers we spoke to say that if it is approved, it likely won't be a 90-10 split. It will be something more like 60-40 or 50-50.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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