Fixing Our Roads
HOW HAS THE CITY USED ITS LOCAL SALES TAX MONEY?
City staff has received several requests to summarize the use of local sales tax money since the passage of Measure C in 2013. Here is the information staff has provided.
Measure C was approved in November 2013. The sales tax began being charged in April 2014. As a result, the City did not have Measure C revenue to spend until the later part of Fiscal Year 2014-15. The approved expenditure plan for capital projects (including road repair) is the City’s Capital Improvement Plan. Information is on this page: http://www.cityoflarkspur.org/CIP. The budgeted amounts for the road repair program for the past several years:
FY17-18: $1.502M, with $1.002M contributed by Measure C (pg 17 of the PDF)
FY16-17: $1.825M, with $1.35M contributed by Measure C (pg 8 of the PDF)
FY15-16: $1.309M, with $855k contributed by Measure C (pg 24 of the PDF)
FY14-15: $1.019M, with $855k contributed by Measure C (pg 9 of the PDF)
Some points worth noting:
- We were very conservative with our estimates for Measure C revenues in the first two years. Sales tax revenue proved better than anticipated. In the third year, we spent the additional revenues that had accumulated, resulting in a higher contribution from Measure C and a larger project budget.
- Before Measure C was approved, the City would have to save revenue over two or three years to have sufficient cash to pay for a full road repair season. In FY13-14 (pre-Measure C), the City spent slightly more than a million dollars on road repair. To build up the cash for this expenditure, the City spent very little on its road repair program in FY11-12 and FY12-13.
- The CIP documents are budgets, not the memorialization of actual expenditures. Actual expenditures are reviewed and verified by an independent auditor and the Finance Director. Their determinations are summarized in the City’s financial statements, which are reviewed by the Citizens Oversight Committee. The information you have been reviewing on the Citizens Oversight Committee reflects the role of the members to act on the taxpayers’ behalf to review these statements and report on whether Measure C is being used appropriately.
The other uses of Measure C have been:
FY14-15: $45,000 was set aside for the Fire Chief and the Public Works Director to use for vegetation management. Our program has focused primarily on working with private property owners to take responsibility for their vegetation, so costs have been modest. We have a bit less than $20,000 left in the account.
FY15-16: $45,000 was set aside for repairs to our fire station, but the repairs were postponed and the money has not yet been spent.
FY16-17: $98,000 was used to make the annual lease payment on a new fire truck.
FY17-18: $98,000 is scheduled to be used to make the annual lease payment on the fire truck.
I hope this information is helpful. Please visit the Measure B information page to get information about the ballot measure, including the strategy to fix all our roads and reduce our long-term maintenance costs.
THE LARKSPUR STREET REPAIR AND ESSENTIAL SERVICES MEASURE
In July, the Larkspur City Council unanimously placed Measure B on the November 2017 ballot.
If enacted, Measure B would allow the City to accelerate repairs to our streets, roads and potholes, with the goal of being able to address these infrastructure needs over the next five years. Doing so will repair deteriorating streets before costs become as much as 40 times more expensive in the future.
We want to thank those of you who attended one of our community engagement meetings or responded to the City’s spring community survey, both of which were essential to the development of Measure B in addressing the public’s concerns.
Our City prides itself on its fiscally conservative budgetary practices and accountability. If enacted, Measure B maintains Independent Citizens’ Oversight to ensure that all voter-approved funds continue to be spent consistently, towards priorities identified by voters.
For more information, visit www.CityofLarkspur.org/FixingOurRoadsMeasureB.
For more information about Measure B please refer to any of the resource links below or call Public Works Director Julian Skinner at 415-927-5020. For voting information, please visit marincounty.org/depts/rv or call the Larkspur City Clerk Jamie Kuryllo at 927-5002.
Dan Schwarz, City Manager
Measure B on the November 7, 2017 Ballot
The Larkspur Street Repair and Essential City Services Measure overwhelming passed in November 2013 (when it was known as Measure C). The five-year measure implemented a sales tax to help address Larkspur’s aging and deteriorating neighborhood streets and roads, pothole repair needs, and help fund essential city services, such as maintaining police and fire protection.
The City Council has been careful to maximize the impact of taxpayer dollars generated since 2013. Much work has been accomplished, but the need exceeds the funding a five-year measure provides. A 2017 community survey and several outreach meetings have made it very clear that Larkspur voters want our all of our roads fixed. The City Council and staff have developed a strategy to accelerate our program and fix our roads over a five-year period.
Measure B renews and extends the sales tax at the 3/4-cent rate until ended by voters. Under these terms, the City can fix our roads and address other needs prioritized by our community, including 9-1-1 emergency response times and ensuring that our storm drains function properly and keep our waterways free of contaminants. Measure B provides for an Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee empowered to make certain these voter-identified priorities are met.
Frequently Asked Questions About Measure B
Frequently Asked Questions About Road Repair
The City Council and staff conducted several community outreach meetings in May and June.
You can watch a presentation by Public Works Director Julian Skinner summarizing Measure B and the City's proposed program for fixing our roads by following the link below.
September 6, 2017 Presentation by PW Director Julian Skinner
You can watch a presentation by Public Works Director Julian Skinner summarizing the need for Measure B by following the link below.
June 21, 2017 Presentation by PW Director Julian Skinner
You can watch a presentation by City Manager Dan Schwarz summarizing the Larkspur Street Repair and Essential City Services by following the link below. This video includes the City Council's discussion and decision to place the measure on the November 7 ballot.
July 19, 2017 Presentation by City Manager Dan Schwarz
Need more Information?
If you need additional information regarding Measure B, please contact the City at 415-496-2401, or email email@example.com.
Ghilotti Construction Company (GCC) has been awarded the City's FY2016-17 Pavement Project contract. Work started June 26th and is anticipated to continue through September 20th.
GCC has mailed a notification letter to residents on affected streets that gives general information about the project, as well as contact information. A second door hanger notice will be delivered prior to specific streets being paved.
Street Segments to be Paved
The following list are streets segments that are included in this year's project. Please also see the map below.
- Acacia Ave (Elm to end)
- Chanticleer Ave (William to Meadowood)
- Diane Ln (William to Midway)
- Elm Ave (135 Elm to Palm)
- Frances Ave (Magnolia to Briar/Estelle)
- Garden Way (William to Heather)
- Hawkins Way (Meadowood to end)
- Heather Way (Diane to Chanticleer)
- Hillcrest Ave (Frances to fire road)
- Liberty St (Midway to Diane)
- Loma Vista Ave (Elm to Alexander)
- Madrone Ave (Onyx to Orange)
- Meadowood Dr (E. Ward to end)
- Midway Rd (Heather to Diane)
- Niven Way (Meadowood to end)
- Palm Ct (Elm to end)
- Ranch Ln (William to end)
- S Green (William to end)
- Taylor Ln (Alexander to City limit)
- William Ave (Holcomb to Garden)
- William Ave (Magnolia to Holcomb)
Alexander Ave (Acacia to Bayview); Bayview Ave (Pepper to Alexander); Elm Ave (Acacia to 135 Elm); Pepper Ave (Baltimore to Elm); and William Ave (Garden to Diane).
PROJECT-RELATED DOCUMENTS FOR FY 2016-17 PAVEMENT PROJECT
ROAD REPAIRS RECENTLY COMPLETED
Moratorium Street List
The following list and map identify the street repairs recently completed. This list also serves as the City's moratorium street list. Per the Larkspur Municipal Code §15.32.070, no excavation or pavement cutting shall be permitted on newly paved roads for a period of five years.
Your Patience is Appreciated!
We want to repair every road in Larkspur, but that will take time and money. In a given year, roads are selected by evaluating:
- their level of deterioration;
- how heavily they are used;
- and whether there is an opportunity to partner with utilities and other entities that want to do road work in the area. Partnering with utilities allows us to get a road repaired for fewer Larkspur dollars, leaving more money to spend on other roads.
Uses and Sources of Funding
How are funds used
Roadway and infrastructure maintenance funds from the funding sources shown below are used to maintain pavement, storm drains, street signs and pavement markings, and concrete in the public right of way.
Funds are used for engineering, permitting, staff time, city crews to repair streets and storm drains, contractors to perform work and inspection and testing services.
Vehicle Impact Fees (VIF)
The City has fees, called vehicle impact fees (VIF), in place that charge garbage and large construction trucks for their impact to our roads.
Partnering with Utility Agencies
The City coordinates with utilities such as RVSD, MMWD and PG&E, for their improvement projects that require road excavation. These agencies pay the City for in-lieu pavement restoration fees, which are then applied to future year's pavement project. Partnering with utilities allows us to get a road repaired for fewer Larkspur dollars, leaving more money to spend on other roads.
In November 2013, the citizens of Larkspur approved Measure C, an increase of a half-cent to our general sales tax revenue. The Measure C half-cent sales tax went into effect on April 15, 2014.
City Council adopted a policy to expend a minimum of 80% of Measure C funds toward pavement maintenance. Each year, a Citizen's Oversight Committee works with City staff to recommend a specific funding level for the coming year.
For Fiscal Years 2014-15 and 2015-16, the funding level is 95% of Measure C revenue. (The other 5% is being used to establish a fund for the Fire Department to work with property owners who live on our hillside roads and have vegetation that is a fire threat and affects the ability for vehicles to pass.)
The strategy on road maintenance for use of Measure C funds is, "direct use of funds only to repair aging and deteriorating neighborhood streets and roads, repair potholes, clear hazardous and flammable brush to prevent fires and improve emergency vehicle access, and maintain police and fire protection."
LARKSPUR RESIDENTS WANT POTHOLE RELIEF
The survey, conducted February 17th– March 1st 2017 by the respected firm of FM3 Research, was commissioned to assess current resident perspectives on community priorities and service needs. Respondents continue to give the City consistently positive overall job ratings, with a strong majority of more than 2 to 1 giving the Larkspur excellent or good performance rankings.
As much as 85% of respondents identified “repairing streets, roads and potholes,” as being the top priority, followed by maintaining police/fire protection and 911/emergency response services and repairing storm drains to prevent contaminated spills into the Bay.
“We greatly appreciate the time our residents took to give us this important feedback,” said Larkspur City Manager Dan Schwarz. “Our goal is to incorporate these perspectives into this year’s budget planning process so our financial strategies reflect the community’s priorities.”
Said Public Works Director Julian Skinner, “I am not surprised by this helpful input from our public. When I am out in the community, people tell me they want the City to make pothole and road repairs faster—and I agree. Doing so prevents further deterioration and lowers our future maintenance costs. Unfortunately, many of Larkspur’s neighborhood streets are still riddled with cracks and potholes and we must address these hazardous conditions so our motorists, public transit, and public safety vehicles are not at risk.”
The City commissioned the survey to get input on resident satisfaction with city services, service priorities, and community perspectives on renewing voter-approved local Larkspur funding. The survey indicated the public would support renewal of Larkspur’s existing voter-approved funding program at percentages as high as the low 70 percentiles (for a simple majority requirement measure) to continue to address infrastructure needs and vital services.
The City regularly surveys its residents to measure satisfaction and to gauge community priorities as it relates to City-provided services. The last survey taken was in 2013.
“Police and fire services, pothole/road maintenance and disaster preparedness are essential to maintaining our safety and quality of life,” continued Schwarz. “It’s incredibly helpful to know that residents not only value these services, but want more of them. We are working on a plan to make accelerating street infrastructure repair our top priority, and we look forward to keeping the community informed.”Survey Findings Summary