May 13, 2013 5:40 PM by Mike Manzoni -- email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - A a couple of city council members are no longer in favor of the street user fee and have created their own proposal. They now believe the city should help foot the bill.
Let's get you up to speed on what has already been approved. Just last month, the council agreed to add a $7 fee to utility bills. The council also agreed to pay a consultant to develop a fair formula for charging businesses.
The street user fee was created to pay for the $15 million a year needed for street maintenance.
Council members Mark Scott and Kelley Allen say they no longer support the original plan that called for the seven dollar fee.
Their plan calls for reducing the user fee to $5 and for the city to set aside four million dollars of money already in the budget to help pay for street repairs.
Under this plan both businesses and residents would pay the same amount. Scott and Allen say this plan would raise the necessary $15 million over the next ten years.
Scott also wants 98% of the funds raised by the fee to go towards improvements, not covering administrative costs.
As for what other council members will think, Mark Scott believes other council members could get on board with the plan.
"It's hard to argue that you should lower the fee to the rate payer. That's hard to argue. Number two, council members voted to make streets a high priority, so we think we have an obligation to fund that which we say is a high priority," Scott tells us.
Scott plans on bringing the alternate street user fee plan before the council when they consider the current proposal within the next month.