Sales tax approval has Cedar Rapids officials studying streets - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sales tax approval has Cedar Rapids officials studying streets

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Get ready to see more construction signs Cedar Rapids. The City is making plans to start spending the money it will receive in sales tax, thanks to voters saying yes on Tuesday.

"We're thrilled that the Local Option Sales Tax passed," said Sandi Fowler, Assistant City Manager. "We're excited to fix the streets of Cedar Rapids, and we're ready to get started on that."

The one percent sales tax for road repairs begins July 1, 2014, and the city will get its first check in the fall. Officials hope to start construction before that.

"We would like not to lose next construction season, lose the opportunity to get in and get started on getting those streets fixed," said David Elgin, Public Works Director and City Engineer.

The city already has a list of the streets with high traffic that need improvement. Now they're working on researching streets in residential areas.

"Obviously the condition of the streets plays a major factor," said Elgin. "We also look at accident history, we look at the traffic volumes, we look at the amount of utilities that are under the streets, we look at the neighborhoods that the streets are in and the needs of the neighborhood."

Residential streets are what the city hopes to use lost money to fix.

 "We really want to get to those residential streets right away," Assistant City Manager Sandi Fowler said.

The public works department will evaluate those residential roads and come up with a priority list. Then it will go through committees and ultimately the city council for budget approval.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Local Option Sales Tax will also be in place in Fairfax, Hiawatha, Marion, and Robins. Each city has its own plans for the money it receives. Most are planning on street and infrastructure improvements.

Voters in Black Hawk County also approved a Local Option Sales Tax ballot measure Tuesday night. It's an extension of the tax currently in place---and will stay in place through 2025.

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