roadwork

As some McKinney roadways face needed maintenance, the city is looking at funding options to support its pavement conditions.

As part of a 2021 study, McKinney roadways received an average Pavement Condition Index rating of 71, landing it at the lower part of a “satisfactory” category. In 2012, that rating had been 87, landing the city in the “good” category, and it was 82 in 2015, landing the city at the top of the “satisfactory” category.

“So what this means is that the rate of deterioration of roadways within McKinney exceeds the rate of reinvestment,” Public Works Director Ryan Gillingham said.

The city spends an average of $9.3 million per year on roadways per year, and about $2.8 million of that goes to maintenance, Gillingham said.

During a Tuesday City Council Work Session meeting, Gillingham presented six potential funding options the city could take to approach future roadway improvements. Those options included maintaining current funding amounts, implementing a roadway fee, seeking bond funding or diverting sales tax funds to go towards roadway maintenance. Gillingham then showed how the funding gained from each option would impact the city’s future Pavement Condition Impact scores.

Each scenario shows an overall decline in the city’s average pavement score, dipping further into the “fair” category over time, but the sales tax option, which could garner the most funding, about $20 million, resulted in the slowest decline.

“The more money you’re putting into the roadways, the flatter the line becomes,” Gillingham said.

Diverting that sales tax revenue would mean taking funds away from the McKinney Economic Development Corporation and Community Development Corporations, an option that would trigger a city election.

The two bond options were projected to bring in about $14 million or $19 million per year, while the roadway fee option was projected to bring in about $13 million, if the fee was set at $4.

City Manager Paul Grimes said the roadway fee option would be borne exclusively by Mckinney households, while the sales tax option would distribute the impact among people who came in and spent money in the city.

Gillingham said any of the options would involve a collection of reconstruction, panel replacements and preventative maintenance efforts.

“Even though you may see a very gradual overall system decline by going to $20 million a year, you’re going to see the worst roads get improved significantly, and that’s very meaningful for those folks and for the overall system,” Grimes said. “So it’s not just about your average system roadway. It’s about where are the impacts.”

Overall, council members expressed interest in looking more into the fee, bond and sales tax options. Councilman Rick Franklin said he was willing to look more into the sales tax option but said diverting those funds from the MEDC and MCDC could be a “slippery slope” situation.

“[I’m a] big believer in using the sales tax to increase our tax base,” he said.

Mayor George Fuller said he was interested in learning more about the sales tax option.

“Having a more improved, better road system, for me, is, in a strong way, supporting business development and development of our community,” Fuller said, “and of course this would have to go to the voters, and the voters would have to decide if it was important to them or not to use those funds.

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