Streets are an important investment because if we can upgrade them over time to a condition that can be maintained on an ongoing basis with slurry seal treatments, millions of dollars can be saved by preventing the need for costly street reconstruction projects in the future. This is because slurry seal treatments are a fraction of the cost of resurfacing projects, but it will take a major investment to get to that point.
The City Council recently adopted a five-year street improvement plan. Two recent changes enabled the City to increase this important effort.
The first was voter approval of the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) Measure X sales tax. Of those revenues, 40 percent comes to municipalities for local street projects. The second is approval of the gas tax by the State Legislature, of which the City also receives a portion. From these two sources, King City anticipates receiving an annual allocation of close to $600,000.
Given the importance of this effort, street improvements have been identified as one of the primary projected uses of future cannabis tax revenues when they are projected to take effect within the next couple years. The City’s goal is to eventually dedicate at least $1 million per year to improving its street system.
This year, the City will be developing a long-range pavement management program covering the entire City to schedule projects in the most cost effective manner. The best approach is to utilize available funding to gradually improve a few of the worst streets each year, while at the same time applying slurry seal treatments to streets in better condition to prevent them from getting to a point where they need to be resurfaced. This can often generate complaints when people living on streets in poor condition see streets in better condition being worked on before their street is improved. However, it is an important strategy in order to make progress.
Otherwise, the overall system will deteriorate faster than the City can upgrade it. A good analogy is how you would want to maintain your vehicles if you owned one older one and one newer one. It would be important to fund regular oil changes and tune ups on the newer car to keep it from needing major repairs in the future while you also made more significant upgrades to the older one.
Last year, the worst streets were determined to be Haven, Carlson and Vivien. These streets received a new overlay, which was the first Measure X project in Monterey County. The next phase of street improvement projects are planned for this summer. Reconstruction projects are planned for the two streets now determined to be in the worst condition, which include Bishop and the portion of Bitterwater between Industrial and Airport.
Meanwhile, consistent with the approved strategy, slurry seal treatments will be applied to the Rio Vista Drive area neighborhoods, the Royal Coach neighborhoods, Mildred north of Broadway, Orchard, Copley, and the portion of Vanderhurst and Queen north of King. These plans are contingent upon bids being received within estimated costs.
The City’s five-year Street Improvement Capital Improvement Project can be viewed on the City’s website at www.kingcity.com. Members of the community are encouraged to contact City Hall at 385-3281 with any questions or feedback.