Janesville City Council considers higher taxes

The Janesville City Council is looking for ways to avoid street repair costs being kicked further down the road. Public Works Director Carl Weber says the city is falling behind in its street maintenance program. Past city council's have reduced resurfacing because of tight budgets. Now Weber says more than 30 miles of roads are considered poor to failing. He says in three years, at current funding levels, the number of streets in poor or failing condition will more than double. Resurfacing is a way to maintain roads longer without incurring even higher costs for replacement. The question for the council now is where to get the money to pay for proper upkeep. One option is an increase in the wheel tax. Increasing the current $10 wheel tax to $48 would generate about $2 million, which is what Weber is requesting the road maintenance budget be increased by next year. Other options for the council include direct property tax increases or more borrowing. Another budget workshop session is planned for Thursday night.