Local

Woodstock to host public hearing on 3-cent gas tax Tuesday

Residents set to weigh in on matter at Tuesday meeting

Caleb Ruff of Woodstock puts gasoline into his vehicle July 1 at Gas Cap in Woodstock.
Caleb Ruff of Woodstock puts gasoline into his vehicle July 1 at Gas Cap in Woodstock.

Woodstock residents will have a chance to let City Council members know how they feel about a proposed local gas tax during a public hearing Tuesday night.

City officials want to implement a motor fuel tax at 3 cents a gallon to help pay for road repairs.

The city is planning to issue $10 million in general obligation bonds to pay for the resurfacing of up to 22 miles of streets out of a total 117 miles in Woodstock.

The project could cost up to $12 million and would focus on roads that have been deemed in fair to poor condition. The city is in the process of determining which streets will be eligible for the program. Construction on those roads is expected to begin May 1.

The proposal would generate an annual debt service obligation of $636,600, according to city documents. The bond term would be for 20 years.

The city expects to pay off the debt with $340,000 from the state’s increased motor fuel tax and $300,000 from a local gas tax. The 3-cent gas tax is proposed to go into effect April 1.

The first step of the project already is underway. The city hired engineering firm Hampton, Lenzini and Renwick Inc. to complete engineering services, including evaluations to determine conditions of water mains, sewer lines and utilities that also may need attention. The city won’t resurface any roads that need underground repairs in the near future.

Council members will not vote on the matter during Tuesday’s meeting. A vote tentatively is scheduled for Dec. 17, according to city documents.

On Tuesday, the council also will consider the adoption of its property tax levy for the upcoming fiscal year. The city has proposed to forgo the inflationary increase allowed under the Property Tax Limitation Law.

The city will levy $8.6 million in fiscal 2021. It last levied $8.4 million, according to city documents.

The increase comes to capture new growth and properties removed from the defunct tax increment financing district, TIF 1.

The public hearing on the gas tax will take place during the council’s meeting at
7 p.m. at City Hall, 121 W. Calhoun St.

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