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The Mesquite City Council has received a recommendation from its street bond steering committee that it ask voters to issue bonds for $125 million to repair the city’s worst rated residential streets. James Terry, one of the committee’s co-chairs, made the recommendation to the council Monday.

“I think taking care of our residential streets, the ones we drive on to and from every day, is a high priority for this council,” said Mesquite Mayor Stan Pickett.

The committee met twice over the last few months to discuss the need for the repairs and to evaluate whether or not they believed a bond was warranted, and if so, what amount should be placed on the ballot in November.

Terry said the $125 million recommendation was almost unanimous with 18 members of the 19 who cast votes in favor of it. The lone member with a different number suggested a $100 million bond.

“Very little discussion was held outside the $100 million or the $125 million,” he said. “We feel like anything less than [$125 million] will leave many bad streets [and] affect our quality of life. People will not want to move into neighborhoods with bad streets, and it certainly could affect the business we need in Mesquite.”

The city has 325 miles of residential streets. The average age of the city’s residential streets is 35 years old, with an average lifespan of 30-50 years. The city staff started classifying city streets in 2009 by grading them one through four, with four being the worst.

“We have 109 miles classified as fours,” Terry said. “We kept out our focus on that number.”

If the council places it on the ballot and voters approve it, the $125 million bond would repair 101 miles of the city’s 109 miles of grade four residential streets.

Public Works Director Tim James had previously briefed the council regarding a new process of road repair the city has begun using to reduce the cost and time frame for repairs, where applicable. The new process involves grinding down the existing roadway several inches and then adding a new layer of concrete and rebar on top of it.

According to James, the process results in roads that are just as strong as completely new roads at a fraction of the cost. The process has already been used successfully within the city.

The city’s current tax rate is $.64 per $100 valuation of a home. According to Terry, 1 cent of tax increase in Mesquite generates $546,000 in new revenue, compared to $1 million in Garland and $2.7 million in Plano.

“You are behind the eight ball every year when you start the budget,” he told the council. “For the last eight years our tax rate has remained at $.64. We don’t know how you manage to do what you do keeping the tax rate the same.”

If the $125 million bond is placed on the ballots and passes, a home valued at $82,000 will see an increase of approximately $91 per year in their taxes. The city’s last street bond was passed by voters in 1984, when the voters were asked to approve $50 million.

The committee has offered its assistance to the city to help inform voters about the bond if the council chooses to place it on the ballot. The council is expected to make a decision on the bond at its Aug. 17 meeting.

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