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LITTLE ELM (April 17, 2017) Little Elm voters will trek to the polls on May 6 to decide whether or not to extend a program that provides funds for street maintenance.
At stake is the continuation of the Street Maintenance Sales Tax Program. The program, first approved by Little Elm voters in 2005 and reauthorized by a significant majority of voters in 2009 and 2013, sets aside 0.25% of the Little Elm sales tax receipts and deposits those funds in an account to be used exclusively for the repair and maintenance of existing residential and collector streets throughout the Town.
The legislation that created this program allows cities and towns the ability to divert that portion of the municipality’s sales tax receipts to pay for the upkeep of those streets within the city or town that are not under the purview of the state or county, and thus not eligible for funding from other sources for their upkeep.
“The program pays for the repair and maintenance of Little Elm streets, pure and simple,” says Kevin Mattingly, Public Works Director. “Neighborhood streets undergo plenty of wear and tear, and this program allows us to look at those Little Elm neighborhood streets with the greatest need and fix them.”
Streets are continually monitored and are assigned a rating based on their condition. Using this system, streets with an appropriate rating are considered a priority for the Street Maintenance program, using funds from the Sales tax account. At the start of the annual budget cycle, Town staff and Council decide on which streets are included in that year’s maintenance program, called the Annual Street Maintenance program, based on the amount of money available in the program’s account.
Since 2005, the program’s funds have been used to repair concrete street panels, broken curbs, sidewalks, street depressions where water collects, potholes, and drive approaches on hundreds of streets throughout Town. Larger projects on major collector streets include the repair of multiple concrete panels on Woodlake Parkway, Witt Road, Walker Lane, Hart Road and sections of Eldorado Parkway where the Town is responsible for maintenance. Specific information on the Annual Street Maintenance program is available at www.littleelm.org/index.aspx?nid=929. Significantly, the legislation which formed the program also mandated that it be reauthorized every four years, ensuring that residents have a say in whether or not the program continues for another four-year period.
“Voters will have their say on May 6 whether to continue the program or not for the next four years,” added Mattingly. “If the program is not approved, we will be required to look elsewhere for the funds necessary for this critical work.”
Early voting for the May 6 election begins on April 24.