Council OKs new fees to pay for road projects
Senior Staff Writer
New traffic fees approved by the Grass Valley City Council Tuesday night will help pay for road projects to help manage future growth.
The fees will fund 15 major regional road projects that are expected to cost $72.6 million or more.
“No one likes to raise fees,” said Councilman Chauncey Poston. “We all know we haven’t collected enough fees” for roads. “It’s doing something in a more holistic way with the county.”
In May, the city proposed a new set of traffic impact fees to help offset the cost of road projects that are needed because of new development.
The council brought them back for revisal Tuesday, with a new set of fees to coincide with ones adopted by the county earlier this month.
The fees from Grass Valley and the county will all go into the same pot to build 15 projects in Grass Valley, Nevada City and Nevada County, said Grass Valley Public Works Director Tim Kiser.
Nevada City is expected to discuss the traffic impact fees in upcoming weeks.
The money will help pay for nine projects in the Grass Valley area, including the Dorsey Drive interchange at the Golden Center Freeway.
The project is expected to help improve traffic flow to the hospital and schools, as well as reduce the traffic bottlenecks in the Brunswick Basin, though critics claim it is unnecessary.
Under state law, developers pay only for their share of a development, and officials use formulas based on vehicle trips per residence or square footage of a business to calculate that share.
The city must pay about $15.1 million toward the $33 million interchange.
Officials hope to raise part of the money through a half-cent citywide sales tax initiative to supplement $18.1 million that the state has set aside for the project, according to county transportation officials.
Though an initiative is planned for the November ballot, some observers are predicting it will be postponed, largely because of the ill-timing due to an economic slump.
Among other transportation projects compiled by Nevada County Transportation Commission and listed by priority are:
• The roundabout at the intersection of Idaho-Maryland Road, East Main Street and the Golden Center Freeway in Grass Valley.
• Brunswick Road and Loma Rica Road intersection improvements.
• Ridge Road and Gold Flat Road interchange in Nevada City.
• Brunswick Road southbound ramp onto the Golden Center Freeway in Grass Valley.
• Highway 49 and Combie Raid intersection in the county
• East Main Street and Bennett Street area in Grass Valley.
• McKnight Way interchange.
• Highway 20 and Pleasant Valley Road intersection.
• Northbound ramp onto the Golden Center Freeway from Idaho-Maryland Road.
• Eastbound ramp onto the Golden Center Freeway from McCourtney Road.
• Dorsey Drive extension from Sutton Way to Brunswick Road.
To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4237.
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