Healdsburg voters favor spending extra revenue on roads, sidewalks

Healdsburg soon will reap extra revenue from a half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters. But how should that million bucks or so be spent?

The answer from a survey of residents was overwhelmingly clear: fix the streets.

Taking direction from the 428 responses in the survey, City Council members agreed last week to spend half the new revenue on street maintenance.

Fixing potholes, repaving roads and constructing sidewalks rose to the top of the suggestions from citizens.

"It was the resounding response we got not just in the survey but (in) conversations with people," Mayor Susan Jones said.

Public Works Director Mike Kirn said that Healdsburg's 45 miles of streets are considered to be in good condition overall. But some are in poor to very poor shape.

"We do have some that are in worse shape than others," he said.

He said the city currently spends about $200,000 annually on streets, but there is a $10 million backlog of maintenance.

In a survey, almost nine out of 10 respondents favored spending some of the new tax money on roads or sidewalks.

Asked how much of each dollar should pay for streets, the weighted average was 44 cents, according to Kirn.

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