EAST WENATCHEE — City Councilmembers Tuesday approved a $20 car tab that will be used to repair mostly residential streets.
The tab passed by a 6-1 vote with Councilman Wayne Barnhart opposing.
Collection would likely begin in July 2013. The tab will be collected on all vehicles with license plates registered to people who live within East Wenatchee city limits. According to state records, that would amount to about 8,000 vehicles.
The city expects to receive $75,000 its first year, based on six months of collections and approximately $150,000 in 2014.
Mayor Steve Lacy said by email this morning that he doesn’t expect the city will have enough in collections to actually begin the first street-improvement project until 2014.
Tuesday’s vote turns the city into a “Transportation Benefit District” with the authority to impose and collect the tab.
The City Council had been pondering the tab since September, but put the issue on hold to give city staff a chance to ensure the funds could be used to repair residential streets, and not just main thoroughfares.
Lacy has said that he heard complaints from citizens about neighborhood street conditions during the last mayoral campaign. He was reelected to his fourth, 4-year term in 2011.
The council approved a 1-percent property tax increase last year to pay for residential street repairs, but this is expected to generate only about $16,000, city officials have said.
State and federal grants are available to repair major arterials, but not residential streets. After the city pays for matching funds required of these grants, it doesn’t leave much cash left over for secondary routes, Lacy has said.
Christine Pratt: 665-1173