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Healdsburg prepares to repair roads in poor condition

Spider webbing and alligator hide aren't just found in the animal kingdom.

In Healdsburg, city engineers use those terms to describe the cracks and patterns in some of the town's most deteriorated streets.

But by next spring, some of those streets will be repaved or improved following a City Council action on Monday to allocate $500,000 in new sales tax revenue for pavement rehabilitation, sidewalks and bicycle facilities improvements.

Another $200,000 will go to the Chamber of Commerce for economic development programs.

The expenditures represent the first revenue from Measure V, the half-cent sales tax increase Healdsburg voters approved in November.

“I'm thrilled the measure passed, the money's available and we're using it in the way people wanted it used,” said Councilman Tom Chambers.

In a survey of residents earlier this year, respondents said fixing potholes, repaving roads and constructing sidewalks should take priority in how the new sales tax revenue should be used.

“We can testify those roads really need it,” said Mayor Susan Jones, who noted that council members a year ago took a tour to look at some of the most pressing infrastructure needs.

The half-cent sales tax boost took effect April 1 and raised the tax in Healdsburg to 8.75 percent.

The increase lasts for 10 years and is projected to raise about $1 million annually for the city's general fund.

Along with 50 percent going toward streets, the council previously agreed following the citizens survey that 20 percent should go to police and fire, 20 percent to economic development and 10 percent to deferred maintenance of public buildings.

“The people spoke loud and clear when they passed Measure V. I think we're doing what they wanted us to do,” Councilman Gary Plass said.

As far as roads, almost half of Healdsburg's 45 miles of streets are considered to be in good condition. Another 23 percent are fair, 18 percent poor, and 12 percent very poor, according to public works officials.

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