City council recently discussed again placing an income tax before voters to address the infrastructure deficit.
“The theory is — and it’s not a theory, it’s a fact — that we only have two avenues in which to increase revenue significantly, one is an income tax and the other is the additional property taxes,” said Beavercreek finance director Bill Kucera.
The COVID relief money will be used primarily to address the city’s stormwater systems. The last stormwater study was completed in Beavercreek in 1983, which showed the city has $25 million in stormwater projects. At the time, it was recommended that the city spend $600,000 a year on stormwater maintenance.
“We budget about $300,000 in stormwater maintenance in 2021 dollars, less than half of what was needed back in 1983,” Landrum said. “We simply do not have a funding source for stormwater and there are major issues in Beavercreek with water.”
The city is currently performing a stormwater study which will give updated costs for infrastructure projects, but the city is hoping to tackle the largest project, which affects the most people, with its COVID relief funding. That project has a very old estimated cost of $2.5 million, but the full list of projects won’t be finalized until the city get accurate bids, Landrum said.
The American Rescue Plan Act is a $130 billion federal COVID-19 relief plan for local governments signed into law earlier this year by President Joe Biden. The city received its first half of the funds in July, and the other half will be available in 2022. Per federal treasury guidelines, the money can be spent in several ways, but must be expended or contracted by the end of 2024. It can also be encumbered if it is spent by the end of 2026.