Posted: Mar 26, 2013 8:50 PM by Melissa Schroeder
Updated: Mar 27, 2013 2:17 AM
CORPUS CHRISTI -- A vote today at city council puts a wrench in plans to charge residents and business owners street fees.
Last year, a committee determined Corpus Christi was more than $1 billion behind on street repairs.
The yearly maintenance alone would cost the city $15 million.
City staff decided the best way to pay for that maintenance is with a street user fee, which would be added on to our water bills.
Many business owners are angry about how the city decided to charge them for the street fee.
They say the formula used is unfair.
So, the city decided to hire a consultant to do a survey and come up with a fair formula for everyone.
The survey would cost the city $225,000 and it needed council's approval.
But, it didn't pass.
Mark Scott, who supported the survey, said, "I'm surprised and disappointed. I think the city council stubbed our toe today. We spent two years working on a plan to fix our streets and I think what we communicated today is our inability to come together in that one moment that shows leadership."
Rudy Garza, who voted against the survey, said, "At this particular time we just didn't feel it was prudent to spend the money on that survey if it's quite possible there may be something else we might arrive at."
Garza is referring to an alternative street user fee plan that the Chamber of Commerce announced at Tuesday's meeting.
Council members haven't heard what that plan is exactly, but they hope to find out soon.
Meanwhile, the city sits in limbo until they figure out what to do next.
Assistant City Manager Oscar Martinez said, "We can not operate with just limited information."
The reporter asked, "So, you're kind of at a standstill now?"
He answered, "Well, we can look at part of what the council originally asked us to do, but we can't look at the whole thing."
Councilman Garza says he hopes to hear about the Chamber of Commerce's plan by next week.
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