CA: Stanislaus Board of Supervisors to Consider Spending Framework for Proposed Transportation Tax

Stanislaus County supervisors on Tuesday could endorse a spending plan framework for the emerging transportation sales tax proposal.

In January, the Stanislaus Council of Government's policy board adopted a basic plan for allocating the $970 million that the half-percent tax is expected to generate over 25 years. Voters could see the tax proposal on the ballot as early as November. It would require two-thirds approval.

The county and its nine cities have been asked whether they support setting aside 47 percent for city street and county road repairs, 47 percent for regional corridors and 6 percent for rail, bicycle and senior transportation projects.

"I think we are all in support of it," Supervisor Terry Withrow said Friday, referring to the Board of Supervisors. Three other supervisors did not return phone messages.

According to the agenda posted Friday, supervisors are scheduled to vote on the resolution. A report outlines the major projects for the $455.9 million allocated for regional corridors:

  • The north-county expressway to improve traffic flow between Oakdale and Highway 99 near Salida.
  • An ambitious proposal to widen Highway 132 from the San Joaquin County line to Highway 99, improve the freeway connections and make upgrades on 132 east to Waterford.
  • Improvements on the east-west traffic corridor between Highway 99 in Turlock and Interstate 5 in Patterson.

The 25-year sales tax would give the county an estimated $122.4 million for bridge projects and road maintenance, with 80 percent or $97.4 million, committed to maintaining the county's 1,500 miles of roadway.

The plan would allocate $25 million for bridges. It's not nearly enough for the 21 bridges that need replacement or seismic retrofits, at a total estimated cost of $210 million. But officials propose to use the tax revenue as the local match for securing federal and state transportation dollars.

Projects include the Hickman Road, Geer Road, Santa Fe Road and Seventh Street bridges over the Tuolumne River; McHenry Avenue over the Stanislaus River; and Las Palmas Avenue, Crows Landing Road and River Road spans over the San Joaquin River.

"Stanislaus County roads and bridges are severely underfunded," the county report says. "The proposed sales tax measure would play a critical role in helping to address this deficit."

The tax would provide about $800,000, or $32,000 per year, for bicycle and pedestrian routes.

Previous transportation tax ballot measures in 2006 and 2008 were not successful in Stanislaus County. Measure S barely fell short of two-thirds approval in 2008.

City and county representatives on the StanCOG board want to look at polling results before going forward with a November ballot measure.


Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or (209) 578-2321.

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