Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today helped kick off the work of the citizens' group that will advise the City on the street work to be funded by the voter-approved quarter-cent sales tax. The Mayor appointed the 14-member Advisory Committee on Transportation (ACT) earlier this summer, and the committee is scheduled to make its recommendations by the end of October on the priority street projects for the first year of construction.
"Our streets are critical transportation infrastructure that drive economic growth, create jobs, improve safety, and contribute to our quality of life in Lincoln. They are a top priority for residents and my administration," said Mayor Gaylor Baird at a kickoff news conference. "The ACT's charge is clear and crucial to our success: to help ensure that this new revenue dedicated to streets is spent efficiently, effectively, and equitably in all quadrants of our City. This is a great responsibility, and I want to thank them all for providing such a valuable service to our community." Mayor Gaylor Baird also thanked members of the Lincoln Citizens' Transportation Coalition, which delivered its recommendations in January 2018.
Voters approved the quarter-cent sales tax increase in April. It will provide an estimated $13 million annually for six years. The new tax takes effect October 1, 2019, and the City will begin to receive the revenue in December. The first work to be funded by the new dollars will begin in the spring of 2020.
The specific projects to be funded by the new voter-approved tax will be determined by the City's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) with the guidance of the ACT. The charge to the ACT is to provide an additional level of oversight, collaboration, and advocacy regarding transportation infrastructure investments funded by the tax for each year it is in effect.
Before the ACT's first meeting, members toured City streets on one of the City's trolleys to get a better sense of the types of street repairs and treatments. The committee's work will include reviewing transportation revenues and expenditures as well as challenges and solutions.
Co-chairs of the committee are Shannon Harner and Mike Dekalb, and the other members are neighborhood quadrant residents Ken Cooper (NE), Megan Stock (SE), Genelle Moore (SW), and Brett Ebert (NW); at-large community residents Russell Miller, Pablo Cervantes, and Amy Eidenmiller; growth and development representatives Don Linscott, Rick Krueger, and Todd Wiltgen; transportation advocate Barb Fraser; and engineering industry representative Jeanne McClure.
Details will be announced soon on open houses in every quadrant of the City. In November, the public again has an opportunity to weigh in as the City Council holds a public hearing and takes action on amendments to the CIP.