Insufficient TBD income according to the Ministry of Public Works

LYNNWOOD, Wash, October 6, 2021 – Lynnwood City Council received an update from the Public Works Department highlighting possible budget shortfalls for current and upcoming transportation projects at their October 4th business meeting.

According to the presentation, the 2021-2022 budget allocates $ 7.7 million for various transportation projects. However, these projects are expected to require between $ 13.5 and $ 22.6 million.

“Frankly, I think that’s why the state adopted and authorized the formation of TBD,” said Director of Public Works Bill Franz. “They realized that street funds just don’t work well in competition with all these other things that cities have to fund, like public safety, parks, and administration.”

The TBD mentioned by Franz is the District of transport services. The Washington State Legislature passed a measure in 2007, RCW 36.73, which allows for the establishment of TBDs. When a TBD is established, cities can impose a local sales tax to fund local transportation projects. Lynnwood currently has a 0.1% sales tax addition for TBD, which was approved by voters in 2016. This tax increase generates around $ 2.5 million per year and will last until 2027.

“Our main sources of funding have kind of stagnated over the past 10 or 20 years,” said Franz. “We are effectively capped at around $ 2 million for general funds and $ 1.9 million for gasoline tax. So this means that we rely more and more every year on the funds to be determined. The more we rely on the funds to be determined for this daily maintenance, the less we have to do these other programs like paving and paving and things like that.

According to Franz, this has caused the city to lag behind in maintenance, as the work is reactive rather than proactive, which also increases costs. Think of a layered road: the more layers a team has to travel to complete a repair, the more expensive the project becomes. Proactive pavement management and surface repairs are relatively easy and therefore more cost effective. Significant damage forces crews to dig deeper into the roadway or results in a complete rebuild.

Lynnwood did, however, manage to compete for grants. On average, 41% of funding for ongoing projects is expected to come from the city and the remaining 59% from grants.

“We are confident that we will be able to land this funding and we really hope that we can do better than what is in this column and therefore not need as much as you see in the city column,” said Franz . .

City crews are currently responsible for: 300 miles of street lanes, 120 miles of sidewalks, 65 traffic lights, 4,400 traffic signs, 160,000 traffic buttons, 95,000 square feet of thermoplastic and 1,000 gallons of paint per day. According to Franz, there are only four teams who maintain the streets and two teams for the traffic lights.

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