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Overland Park City Council approves placing sales tax on June ballot to pay for street upgrades

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Posted at 9:56 PM, Mar 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-06 22:56:54-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After much discussion, the Overland Park City Council Monday night approved placing a 3/8-cent sales tax on the June mail ballot for street and related infrastructure repairs.

Council members agreed the city, now just more than 60 years old, needs improvements to its streets, road and related infrastructure.

The money collected from the tax would "fund an infrastructure improvement program consisting of repairing, rebuilding, rehabilitating, upgrading, constructing and improving City street and related infrastructure," the ballot language states.

Council members were in favor of replacing as much chip and seal material now used on city streets with Ultra-Thin Bonded Asphalt.

"This process removes the top five-eighths of an inch of existing pavement from a street," according to Meg Ralph, Overland Park City spokesperson. "Crews then apply an ultra-thin bonded asphalt, which seals the pavement, and prolongs the life of the street. Curb and gutter, sidewalk, storm sewer and commercial driveway repairs are included as part of the project. Thoroughfare roads are treated approximately every 8-10 years."

In addition, money would be used to improve and replace traffic signals.

"Last year, a resident infrastructure advisory group recommended an additional $28.5 million per year over current funding for streets, storm water and traffic systems in the city," Ralph said in a statement after the vote.

If voters approve the tax, it would take effect on April 1, 2024, after the expiration of an existing Special Purpose City Retailers Sales Tax.

“We have 25 years of history indicating exactly how every penny has been spent since the initial sales tax was dedicated,” said Lori Curtis, Overland Park City Manager. “The City has an impeccable track record of spending these funds solely on the identified purposes.”

The election will be by mail-in ballot and those will be sent to qualified voters.