Here's the story as I see it. The Town of Cedaredge (TOC) is once again thinking of a sales tax increase. The difference is ... this increase will REALLY and TRULY pay only for new roads and road maintenance. Past sales tax increases have promised to do the same, but rarely did. As a result, we are doubtful it will EVER be spent for its intended purpose, but instead toward paying more expense for the bonds on the Main Street project and other obligations as the TOC has done in the past.
One of the problems is the board of trustees is ever-changing. Thanks to all these people who serve our town primarily as volunteers, including and especially, the current mayor. The only constant in all these years has been the paid "staff," namely the town manager. Road maintenance apparently is NOT her focus. I'm wondering if the TOC road maintenance is too mundane a task to accomplish? Maybe, and I'm only saying maybe, a project such as Main Street, although less necessary, certainly seems to be a constant presence, as the ultimate lofty goal of our town staff. And now, because the TOC owes bond debt that must be paid in the next five years (total due is approximately $300,000), the funds for road maintenance are not available as they were intended.
Personally, I would never vote for a "dedicated" tax increase with proceeds to pay for roads in view of what past experience has been. As Hank Lohmeyer's article of April 5 stated, town streets are a priority with the public, but not so for spending in the town's annual budget. In fact, no funds were allocated in 2016 for asphalt maintenance and even though some money was allocated for 2017 street repairs, that amount has already been cut by half!