Monday, May 23, 2022

Street Maintenance Mismanagement Fee

San Angelo City Council will consider charging residents a monthly street use fee of $6.75 in tomorrow's strategic planning meeting.  The fee would be added to resident's monthly water/trash bill. 

The street use fee could be used for an in-house mill and overlay crew.  This was the intent of the city's purchase of the Benedetti machine.  That project failed spectacularly.  City crews did a few thousand feet of paving prior to returning the machine to the manufacturer for a refund.  

A current street project is Rio Concho Drive, which had been "rehabilitated" using the Benedetti machine.  Public Works has a poor history of using its asphalt zipper equipment for street resurfacing.  The City of Fredericksburg borrowed the equipment several years ago to resurface a street.  At the time the asphalt zipper had 8 hours on it.

Also, the people who let city streets deteriorate over the last thirty years remain in charge.  Executive Director of Public Works chiefs Ricky Dickson and Shane Kelton were in street leadership jobs earlier in their career.  Both occupy a position that once required an Professional Engineer license.  City Manager Daniel Valenzuela waived that qualification to promote Dickson, then Kelton to the top public works job.

Recent property assessments have soared upsetting residents as this is basis for city, county and school district taxes.  City staff should let these 30% higher appraisals work their way through the system prior to charging a street use fee.

City coffers have significant fund balances which are not included in the slides for the strategic planning meeting.  Those numbers should also be examined prior to City Council approving a street mismanagement maintenance fee.  

Update 5-24-22:  The Strategic Planning meeting has been postponed until next Tuesday, 5-31 at 3:00 pm.  

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