Eugene Street Bonds
Vote “YES” to repair streets and fund walking, biking, safety, and street tree projects!
Shall Eugene repair streets and fund walking, biking, safety, and street tree projects using $61.2 million in general obligation bonds? Here are twelve reasons to vote “YES” on Ballot Measure 20-333:
- Taxes won’t increase. Ballot Measure 20-333 is not a new tax. It simply continues the current street repair program at an estimated tax rate of $0.63 per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $169 per year for an average Eugene homeowner.
- It’s our responsibility. Federal and state funding isn’t sufficient. We need to pay ourselves to keep our streets in good repair.
- It’s fair. A tax on property spreads the burden fairly. Everyone benefits; everyone helps pay.
- A stitch in time saves nine. Paying now to resurface streets in “fair” condition saves taxpayers. Waiting until streets are in “poor” or “very poor” condition and must be fully rebuilt is far more costly. Engineers make taxpayer dollars go as far as possible by fixing streets neither too soon nor too late.
- People everywhere benefit. Ballot Measure 20-333 identifies a list of 43 street repair projects in every corner of the city to be completed over five years.
- People walking or biking benefit. Roughly 1 in 4 Oregonians isn’t licensed to drive. Ballot Measure 20-333 will also benefit youth, seniors, alter-abled, and others who walk, bike, or use a mobility assistive device. Projects can include improvements to our popular off-street path network, addressing dangerous areas with better pedestrian crossings, and creating safer routes to schools, parks, and commercial areas.
- Saving lives of people, too. Ballot Measure 20-333 not only saves the “life” of pavement, it also saves human lives by investing in safety projects for everyone.
- Planting street trees. To make our streets more attractive and cooler, Ballot Measure 20-333 also invests in street tree projects.
- Public gets a say. The public will have a chance to weigh in on potential walking, biking, safety, and street tree projects before the Eugene City Council approves a specific list to be completed.
- Leveraging local dollars. Some walking, biking, and safety projects will be funded by federal grants requiring a local match, turning $1 of local taxes into as much as $10 invested in our community.
- It’s accountable. Each year, a volunteer citizen oversight committee and an outside auditor certifies that taxpayer monies are being spent as intended.
- It continues a successful program. In 2007, Eugene had over $200 million in needed street repairs. Citizens wanted the potholes fixed—and thanks to bond measures voters approved in 2008, 2012, and 2017, the city can afford to fix streets. Last year, the backlog had been cut to roughly $88 million.
BEST urges you to vote “YES” on Ballot Measure 20-333!
Ballot Measure 20-333
A general election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, in part for the purpose of voting on Ballot Measure 20-333:
Bonds Funding Street Repair and Walking, Biking, Safety, Tree Projects
Shall Eugene repair streets and fund walking, biking, safety, and street tree projects using $61.2 million in general obligation bonds? If the bonds are approved, they will be payable from taxes on property or property ownership that are not subject to the limits of sections 11 and 11b, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.
If approved, City will use bond proceeds to repair approximately 44.6 miles of roads and fund walking, biking, safety, and street tree projects. Measure would generate approximately $11.3 million annually plus inflation for 5 years. Of that, an annual average of $3 million would support walking, biking, safety, and street tree projects. The remainder would fund repairing streets and paying bond issuance costs, with no bond money used to expand the motor vehicle capacity of the street system.
Council Resolution 5364 lists eligible street repair projects. Until listed street projects are completed, bond proceeds could not be used to repair other streets. Resolution 5364 establishes criteria and a process for developing the walking, biking, safety, and street tree project lists.
An outside auditor would review City’s use of bond proceeds, determine whether proceeds were used as required by this measure, and prepare a publicly available report.
Bonds would be repaid from property taxes beginning 2024. Estimated rate is $0.63 per $1000 of assessed value, cost to average Eugene homeowner would be about $169 per year.
On July 13, 2022, the Eugene City Council placed a $61.2 million general obligation bond on the November 8, 2022 ballot. The bond proceeds would be used to fund capital pavement preservation, safety projects focused on biking and walking, and street trees. The $61.2 million total is for five years, accounting for $11.3 million per year for five years at an inflation factor of 4% per year.
City property taxes would be collected to pay for the bonds. The bond measure is expected to cost an average of $0.63 per $1,000 of assessed value each year for five years. This rate is consistent with the average tax rate levied over the five years of the 2017 bond measure. For an average homeowner in Eugene, that would be about $169 per year. The taxes would first be levied in November 2024 after the 2017 street bond taxes end in 2023.
Current Condition of City Roads
The City’s transportation system includes more than 500 miles of streets, with a replacement value of more than $1 billion. Even with proper maintenance, streets deteriorate and eventually need repair. Signs of wear and distress include rutting, cracking and potholes. However, if addressed early enough, only the surface of a deteriorated street needs to be replaced, instead of the entire street. Resurfacing a street is significantly more cost effective than a full rebuild, which includes a new road base.
Public Works staff prepare the Pavement Management Report on an annual basis. It provides a look at the current condition of city roads. At the end of 2021 Public Works estimated there were $87.6 million in needed street repairs throughout the city, a significant decrease since 2008, when voters first approved a street repair bond.
History of Street Repair Funding
In 2000, the capital budget didn’t include funding for preservation of the street system. At the time it was estimated there was about $53 million in needed street repairs. By 2008, that number had increased to $171 million and was projected to grow to more than $280 million in 10 years.
A majority of funding for current street repair projects comes from two sources: street repair bonds and a local gas tax (implemented in 2003). Combined, they account for nearly $12 million a year for street repairs, with the bond money accounting for about $9 million of that total.
According to the Pavement Management Report, about $15.4 million is needed per year over the next decade to return all streets to good condition and keep any additional streets from needing to be reconstructed. Once this is achieved, it’s estimated the annual street repair budget would be $11 million.
In 2008, Eugene voters approved a five-year, $35.9 million bond measure to fix city streets. Voters again showed their support for street repairs with the approval of a new, $43 million bond in 2012 and a $51.2 million bond measure in 2017. The proposed 2022 bond measure would serve as an extension of the 2017 bond measure.
When voters approved the bond measures, they also approved a specific list of streets to be improved. In 2008, the measure promised to fix 32 streets. Because of economic factors and cautious spending, crews were able to fix an additional 10 streets with the 2008 bond money.
The 2012 bond included a list of 76 streets to be fixed and provided an average of $516,000 per year for bicycle and pedestrian projects. City staff are on target to meet the objectives of the 2012 bond. Because of continued favorable bids and resourceful spending, staff will be able to fund an additional five streets in 2019 using remaining money from the 2012 bond.
The 2017 bond measure, which started in 2019, committed to making necessary repairs and improvements on 91 streets. As of July 2022, staff have completed 72 of those projects and are on track to complete the remaining 19 projects by 2024. Working with the Active Transportation Committee and under the guidance of the Transportation System Plan, the city has also identified and completed an average of $1 million in safety improvements for people who bike and walk.
Street Bond Transparency
The bond measures established several levels of accountability. The bonds require an outside auditor and citizen-led committee to evaluate the City’s work on an annual basis. The citizen-led committee, the Street Repair Review Panel (SRRP), is comprised of a number of different stakeholders from throughout the community. Each member brings a different background and area of expertise to the panel.
The auditor and SRRP work independently. Each year they file a report after researching the previous summer’s construction work. The reports are then reviewed by the City Manager and presented to the Eugene City Council. All of the reports can be found on the City website.
- BEST offers suggestions for renewing Eugene’s street bond measure (BEST, 3/18/22)
- Vote “Yes” on Ballot Measure 20-275 to Continue Fixing Our Streets (BEST, 10/11/17)
Official information from the City of Eugene
- City Council
- Resolution No. 5364 (referring ballot measure to voters)
- Bond Measures to Fix Streets
- VIDEO—GO Bonds: Fixing Eugene’s Street (City of Eugene, 3/17/17)
- Streets 101 (City of Eugene, 11/11/12)
- Pavement Condition and Treatment Costs (City of Eugene, Dec. ’09)
- Preserved vs. Non-Preserved Road: Cost per Mile for 2-Lane Road Over 55 Years (AOC & LOC, 4/29/09)
2022 News Stories
- Eugene asking voters to approve another bond for street preservation, active transportation (Register-Guard, 10/13/22)
- Street repair bond measure up for consideration on November ballot (KEZI, 10/5/22)
- Eugene street bond would essentially extend existing measure (KLCC, 9/30/22)
2017 News Stories
- Eugene Street Repair Bond currently passing in Special Election (KVAL, 11/7/17)
- Joshua Skov and Emily Semple: Approve the Street Repair Bond Measure (Eugene Weekly, 10/26/17)
- Eugene Street Repair Bond Measure – What is proposed in this round? (City Club of Eugene, 10/20/17)
- Bond measure 20-275 to extend repairing Eugene’s roads (KEZI, 10/10/17)
- Eugene voters to decide again if they want street repair bond (KVAL, 10/6/17)
- Road work begins Wednesday on 30th Avenue (KVAL, 8/8/17)
- Eugene city councilors poised to send street repair bond renewal to ballot (Register-Guard, 7/13/17
- EDITORIAL—Fixing the roads: Eugene keeps faith with voters who approved bonds (Register-Guard, 4/22/17)
- Another season of street repairs is upon Eugene, courtesy of taxpayer-funded bond measure: Map shows where crews will be heading (Register-Guard, 4/21/17)
- Eugene considers another bond measure to help with road repair backlogs (KMTR, 3/22/17)
2017 Ballot Measure 20-275
- ballot title
- Eugene City Council resolution
- project map
- project list / project list by ward
- Eugene City Council meeting on July 24, 2017
- Eugene City Council work session on July 12, 2017
- Eugene City Council work session on March 13, 2017
2012 Ballot Measure 20-197
- summary (Ballotpedia)
- voters’ pamphlet
- Eugene City Council resolution
- project map
- project list
- information provided by City of Eugene
2008 Ballot Measure 20-145
If you would like to get more engaged in efforts around local bond measures, ask to join BEST’s ad hoc Google Group.