Councilman J. Ross Lacy says Midland needs new roads

Councilman J. Ross Lacy says Midland needs new roads
Pot holes in Midland. (Source: KWES.)

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Pot holes and uneven streets with water and sewer that is more than 70 years old has one Midland City Councilman asking voters to approve a $100 million bond.

J. Ross Lacy, Midland City Councilman for District 4, wants to urge voters to say yes to Prop. A and B.

"A couple years ago, we had a pavement study index done through the engineering and transportation department that identified 30 percent of our roads were in a state of disrepair and a PCI under 50. Meaning you have to completely redo the roads. That's a huge cost when you are looking at replacing and redoing the roads. It cannot be done through the general fund budget," said Lacy.

The City of Midland says that both Prop A and B need to pass.

The bond, which is a 5 year plan, will be made for more than 26 road projects around the city.

But, why does the City of Midland need Midlanders to give then more money for road maintenance?

Lacy said it's because during the oil boom, the city's population skyrocketed.

Looking at the growth over the last 30 years. According to the U.S Census, Midland had a population of 89,483 in 1990. By 2000, it jumped up slightly to 95,004. By 2010, the population increased by 111,307. In 2016, it increased to more than 20,000 people, totaling the population to 134,610.

Lacey said the population is projected to still grow in the next 5 years and The City of Midland wants to be ready for that growth.

"So we need to catch up and prioritize what our core responsibilities are and go take care of the taxpayers. That what this is all about and roads is a step in the first direction," said Lacy.

But, it's not all about city streets. As part of the $100 million bond package, Proposition B will allocate more than $25 million to underground utilities.

If approved, Midland taxpayers would see a noticeable increase on their property taxes if Prop. A and Prop. B pass.

"Property tax revenue for the City of Midland will be $50 million and the police and fire budget is $55 million. So we are running out of funding sources and revenue sources to really address our aging infrastructure. So the most logical step was to go to the voters and ask the voters for a $100 million street maintenance bond," said Lacy.

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