~ Springfield Public Works presented an update to the City Council on Tuesday, outlining their proposed projects and programs that will be funded by the voter-approved ¼-cent capital improvement and 1/8-cent transportation sales taxes. These taxes were extended from three and four years respectively to 20-year sunsets in 2019, and have been popular among voters for providing stable funding for roadway and capital improvement projects for over 25 years. The taxes have been renewed at a rate of over 80% and 67% respectively, numerous times.

Public Works Director Dan Smith highlighted the success of using signs at project and program locations to communicate with voters. The signs, which read "Progress as Promised" and "Completed as Promised," serve as a reminder that the City delivers on its promises to taxpayers.

The City has a model in place for determining which projects will be funded by these two taxes. This model takes into account community surveys, the needs of the community, whether a project is a continuation or has partner matching funds, and fair geographic distribution of improvements.

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"We continue to use this model, which includes surveying the community at least every five years and taking proposed projects and programs for City Council approval," said Smith. "This ensures that we are continually assessing and prioritizing needs while also collecting input from the public."

Last fall, the City administered a public survey where citizens were asked to choose their top three projects. This feedback helped guide recommendations for investment in city-wide programs. The package of projects and programs will now be taken to City Council for a formal vote in the upcoming weeks.

In addition to presenting their proposed projects, Public Works also provided an update on the construction bid process response for the Jefferson Avenue Footbridge restoration project. The recent effort to attract bids resulted in one bid from contractor Branco. The bid ranges from $8.5 million to $10.8 million depending on various options.

This was the second bid process in the past three years, with the first yielding two bidders. However, both were deemed nonresponsive due to not meeting the eligibility requirements for using federal STBG funds. The state of Missouri has proposed $8 million in funding for the restoration project, which, when combined with current identified funding from the 1/8-cent and ¼-cent sales taxes and a contribution of $50,000 from the Commercial Club, brings the total available funds to $8.4 million.

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At Monday night's City Council meeting, a measure was presented requesting approval to seek special obligation bonds to help fund numerous City projects, including the funding gap for the footbridge. This would provide Council with four different options to choose from, with the most comprehensive and expensive option being $10.8 million. Smith notes that this option would offer the longest life cycle investment and could potentially cost less in the long run.

City Council is expected to vote on this bonding project in three weeks. If approved, it would essentially provide debt service with annual payments coming from revenue generated by the ¼-cent and 1/8-cent sales taxes in the future.

For more information on these updates and proposals, please review the meeting video at

Filed Under: Government, City

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