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Riverside could ask for 8-mill levy to fund major road projects

Riverside voters could decide this November whether to fund road projects through a new eight-mill levy.

The money would be used for general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, roads and bridges, according to city records. Council is expected to vote tonight to place the levy on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

If passed, the owner-occupier of a $100,000 home would pay an additional $280 a year, according to Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith’s office.

Riverside would annually collect approximately $1.9 million in new tax revenue, according to the city’s records and Keith’s office. The tax would have no sunset provision, meaning it would be permanently earmarked for streets.

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“I believe most residents in the city agree that our roads are deteriorating and that they’re in much need of repair,” City Manager Mark Carpenter told the Dayton Daily News.

Councilman Steve Fullenkamp said the city’s levy request is a “pretty accurate reflection” of the city’s needs. He said the city decided to seek a property tax so that “everybody’s got some skin in the game and it benefits everybody in our community.”

“We decided to go that way because we thought the entire community benefited from having quality streets,” Fullenkamp said.

Fullenkamp said residents should know the levy “is for roads. We’re not going to use this to increase the size of our staff or other services. This is for fixing roads, major thoroughfares and bridges.”

If the levy makes the ballot, the measure would pass by majority vote. If approved, the levy would be on the 2018 tax list for collection beginning in 2019.

City council minutes show members “determined the city does not have the revenues nor will it have projected revenues in the future to fund city operation and street paving at the level needed.”

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“Upon approval of the tax issue, the city would expedite the street paving and maintenance program by issuing debt to fund a greater number of streets being repaved in the near term and leveling off after the initial period,” the minutes read. “The debt would then be retired through the collection of the new tax revenues earmarked for street paving and maintenance. This will permit the city to reach a greater number of streets more quickly before greater deterioration occurs.”

Council will meet at 7 p.m. today at the Riverside Municipal Building, 5200 Springfield Street, Suite 100.

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