THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
LYNDEN - City residents could have a smoother drive on some roads starting next summer, as a tax to pay for street work was easily approved in the election Tuesday, Nov. 6.
About 55 percent of Lynden residents voted yes on a two-tenths of 1 percent sales tax increase that will pay for street improvements the city has put off during the down economy.
The sales tax will increase from 8.5 percent to 8.7 percent, which means shoppers will pay an additional 20 cents on a $100 purchase.
The increase is expected to take effect in April, said City Administrator Bill Verwolf, although the state will tell the city when the state starts collecting the additional tax.
The additional sales tax is expected to raise about $300,000 a year that will go to the newly formed Transportation Benefit District, which should start receiving tax money a couple months after the increase is in place.
Work probably won't start until next summer, when the weather is generally better and tax money has accumulated to pay for projects, said Public Works Director Steve Banham.
The district will work on four projects from the city's six-year transportation improvement plan:
- Road repairs and overlays to preserve streets.
- Pedestrian trails and bridges.
- Extending 17th Street.
- Rebuilding Third through Seventh streets downtown.?
"What we'd like to do is use the time now to get our Transportation Benefit District board together and brief them on these different projects," Banham said. "As we see that money come in, we'd like to have a batting order that we go through."
First on the list likely will be overlays and chip-sealing to preserve streets, he said. They may also be able to do some modest pedestrian work and design work on larger rebuilding projects.
"We certainly have a backlog of things we'd like to do," Banham said. "I'll be excited to see some of these projects put in place."
Reach ZOE FRALEY at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 756-2803.