In order to repair and maintain streets in years to come, the city of Bexley is considering placing a levy on the November ballot that would replace the existing street maintenance levy approved in 2003.
Bexley City Council members and Mayor Ben Kessler discussed levy options at council's meetings April 10 and 24.
Based on feedback from council members, Kessler said he will present more detailed options at the Tuesday, May 8, meeting.
The current levy generates $850,000 annually for city street projects, Kessler said, adding the average annual cost of maintaining Bexley's streets is estimated at $1.8 million.
While Ohio Public Works Commission grants have helped offset the cost of street projects in the past, "a lot of that money that we have obtained might not be available in the next decade," Kessler said.
Kessler proposed placing a 2.9-mill replacement levy on the November ballot that would cost an estimated $101.50 per $100,000 of property value.
Council members said they would like to discuss other levy options Tuesday.
City Auditor Bill Harvey said it's possible that Bexley's funding from the OPWC may remain at $1.2 million annually and the city could explore borrowing money instead of seeking a levy.
"I think there are a lot of options other than just raising taxes," Harvey said.
Council member Steve Keyes said borrowing money to maintain the city's streets would not be the best option.
"I'd rather have borrowing be the backup plan rather than have borrowing be the up-front plan," Keyes said. "I believe that the voters would support (a replacement levy) because they do value great infrastructure, great streets. It keeps everybody's housing values up; it improves the quality of life."
"None of us wants to see us go back to the bad old days of really bad streets and then having a humongous need for a lot of road work that would really increase our debt service," said council member Mary Gottesman.
Tuesday's meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St. For more information, visit Bexley.org.