Alhambra Weighs Bond Issue for Sidewalk Repair, Streetlights

A proposal to raise taxes to upgrade street lighting and to repair damaged curbs, gutters and sidewalks is under study by the City Council.

City Manager Kevin Murphy said a brochure outlining the plan will be mailed to residents this month in preparation for a public hearing before the council at 7:30 p.m. April 14.

The plan calls for the city to sell a $9.9-million bond issue to pay for the replacement of 3,300 street lights and the repair of 200,000 square feet of sidewalks, curbs and gutters. The bond issue would be funded by increasing the citywide assessments that are now levied on property owners to pay for landscaping and lighting.

Terry James, Alhambra's public services director, said it would take 70 years to clear up the city's backlog of repairs at current tax levels. The proposed bond issue would enable the city to upgrade all substandard street lights in three years and repair 190,000 square feet of damaged curbs, gutters and sidewalks in the 1986-87 fiscal year.

The assessment on a single-family home would remain at the current $38.45 for the next fiscal year and be increased by up to 5% a year over the next 12 years, reaching a high of $69.03 in 1998-99. Assessments would fall sharply in the final two years of the 15-year bond program.

Assessments on apartments and commercial and industrial property would follow a similar pattern, rising no more than 5% a year.

Murphy said the key to keeping assessment increases at 5% is a plan to finance part of the cost with general revenues in amounts ranging from $108,000 the first year to $412,945 in 1989-90.

Murphy said the question to be decided is whether Alhambra property owners are willing to pay increased assessments for better street lighting and sidewalks. Murphy said a city survey last year showed that damaged concrete and poor street lighting were two of the main concerns of residents.

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