City of Lynnwood asking voters to help fund road maintenance
Lynnwood developed a road paving schedule in 2007, right before the bubble burst and all the money dried up.
Since then, the city has been playing catch-up on routine road maintenance.
“It takes about $4.5 million per year to maintain our roads at the level that they need to be maintained at so that they don’t go to gravel,” explained Lynnwood city council member Ian Cotton. “That’s just maintenance. That’s not new roads, it’s not new traffic signals, it’s just maintaining the system.”
However, Cotton says they don’t have a dedicated funding source to pay for that maintenance. The city is asking voters to raise the sales tax one-tenth of one-percent to raise one million dollars per year.
“What that will do is provide one million dollars per year of the $4 million we need as part of a dedicated funding stream to make sure we can start to get the funding for the maintenance on the road which is entirely necessary,” Cotton said.
A sales tax will spread the responsibility for roads beyond the 36,000 residents who live in Lynnwood to the people who drive through the city every day. Estimates say up to 100,000 people use the roads daily. They are buying food, catching a movie, shopping or driving to park-and-rides.
Opponents of Prop. 1 say the city has wasted previous tax increase money on pet projects and not on priorities, like road maintenance. They say voters should reject this increase to send a message to city hall that it’s time to prioritize. They don’t believe voters should give Lynnwood any more money until it does.