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What About Measure B? L ast year, more than 70 percent of Santa Clara County voters said “Yes” to Measure B, a 30-year, half-cent countywide sales tax to fund transportation needs in nine program areas, including Local Streets & Roads. VTA’s timetable shows that program area guidelines will be approved by May and budget allocations for FY 2018-19 will be adopted in June 2017, when the VTA expects to receive its first payment from tax revenues. Follow Measure B progress at vta.org/measure-b-2016. Morgan Hill City Manager, Steve Rymer noted that “Measure B is a very positive step forward, a good example of city and county government officials and citizens connecting on the issues. From South County’s perspective, we need to look at how we make sure that from a capacity standpoint our infrastructure keeps up. In recent years, we’ve increased Morgan Hill’s voice regarding state- wide measures. The League of California Cities represents us to the State of California, which apportions funds to give cities their fair share.” Your Sales Tax Dollars Proposed projects for the $6.3 billion in anticipated revenue include: • BART to San Jose and Santa Clara, $1.5 billion • Street repairs, $1.2 billion • Caltrain capacity improvements and grade separations, $1 billion • County expressways, $750 million • Interchanges, $750 million • Transit operations for vulnerable and underserved populations, $500 million • Highway 85 transit, $350 million • Bicycle and pedestrian improvements, $250 million 14 The cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy have both allocated additional funds from their General Fund discretionary budgets for pavement maintenance, but acknowledge it’s not a sustainable solution. Meanwhile, our cities are diligently seeking out available grant funds (competitive and non-competitive) to maximize the level of roadway maintenance work they can do in any given year. Both cities anticipate Measure B as a predictable roadway funding source that will kick in later this year and extend over time. They also point to new California legislation at the Assembly and Senate levels. (See Your Sales Tax Dollars) Morgan Hill 2017 In 2014, the City of Morgan Hill released its first comprehensive Infrastructure Report that identified, quantified and prioritized the needs to maintain the City’s existing infrastructure as well as strategies and options to fund those needs. This was followed by another report in April 2015. According to City Manager Steve Rymer, “The area of greatest need was our streets and roads. We evaluated their condition and prioritized capital projects and ongoing maintenance requirements.” Currently the City allocates about four percent of its discretionary General Fund revenue for streets and roads (roughly 80 percent goes to public safety, which remains the community’s top priority). Rymer noted that the addition of car dealerships and major downtown redevelopment projects has generated developer impact fees, but only for new expansion of city streets, not for repair GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MARCH/APRIL 2017 or maintenance of existing pavement. And while priority must be given to maintenance of heavily trafficked roads such as Monterey and Butterfield and roads adjacent to schools, the City must also factor in long-established neighbor- hoods, which represent many miles of aging roads. “It’s a balancing act,” Rymer said. “We watch the PCI, but just as importantly we watch deferred maintenance.” Morgan Hill’s most recent Pavement Management Program states that in five years, at the current level of investment, average PCI will fall to 60 and the deferred maintenance will climb to $41 million. “We’re looking at the puzzle of how we fund our needs, looking beyond the city to county and state agencies that can provide a significant and predictable source of funding. We’re doing all we can to position ourselves to be in early rounds of state funding. Morgan Hill plans to be engaged in Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s planning and decision-making process as it sets guide- lines for funding Measure B programs. These funds will cover $800,000 per year for our pavement maintenance. We received $1,379,000 from the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) program, which will be utilized this year for a pavement overlay along Monterey Road from East Dunne Avenue to East Middle Avenue.” The OBAG program is administered by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) with assistance from the VTA. Councilmember Larry Carr serves on the VTA board of directors. “When we defer maintenance of our city streets, we jeopardize our future,” Rymer added. “People in the gmhtoday.com