Cape Girardeau tax payers to decide on paying for pothole repairs

Cape Girardeau tax payers to decide on paying for pothole repairs

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - That first winter blast hit the Heartland one week ago on Monday. Some streets are clear, but maybe you've noticed, the snow's left behind some nasty cracks and potholes.

With this winter storm plus the long winter last year, Cape Girardeau city leaders say fixing the problems will not come cheap and are asking taxpayers is it worth it to them?

If you drive around Cape Girardeau, you'll notice lots of temporary fixes.

"Here's one where we did part of the lane because the other side here wasn't that bad," Public Works director Tim Gramling said.

Gramling said last winter they had to patch roads quickly and cheaply.

"There's no bumps and it's a lot smoother," Gramling said.

But those black Band-Aids, Gramling said, only last so long.

"With the thin layer like this over a couple of years, you'll start to see those cracks reflect up into this pavement," Gramling said.

He said it's time to completely repair roads that are in the worst shape, but that takes more money that's currently not set aside for this type work.

Development Services Director Molly Hood said right now about 25 percent of the money from the city's Transportation Trust Fund, or TTF, goes to road repair, but that's not enough.

"We believe that in order to address the critical needs of our streets we need to increase that proportion to somewhere between 40 and 50 percent," Hood said.

However, do taxpayers agree? If so, it would mean passing up on other road improvement projects.

"The people come out tonight and the next and say you know what, repair is really, really important to us, we might have to sacrifice a project on the list to help us reach that 11 million dollars needed for repair," Hood said.

Voters decide whether or not to continue the TTF tax every five years. It brings in more than $20 million.

"We wish we had all the money in the world and that we could fix every street and do every project. But that just isn't reality," Hood said.

The purpose of the public meeting on Monday night and the one at the Osage Centre on Tuesday, March 3 at 5:30 is to decide where the TTF money will go over the next five years, so voters will know exactly where their money will go before they vote in August.

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.