A new tax funded 6.6 miles of street improvements in the city of Oak Harbor last year and more projects are on the way.
The city’s local sales tax rate rose by 0.2 percent on April 1, 2020, from 8.7 percent to 8.9 percent after voters approved the increase in 2019 for the city’s transportation benefit district.
It was estimated to bring in over $987,000 per year for 10 years to fund improvements to local streets. The tax raised about $793,323.14 from April to December last year, according to an annual report presented to city council members on April 6.
Fifteen streets in the Northwest Crosby Avenue area between Northwest Heller Street and North Oak Harbor Street went through the chip seal process for a total of 5.6 miles of work. There was one mile of asphalt overlay completed in total on Northwest Outrigger Loop and Northwest Lanyard Loop.
The total amount spent for projects last year was $317,315.92.
There is $577,757 worth of overlay projects slated for this year. They include Southwest McCrohan Street, Southwest Castilian Drive, Southwest 13th Avenue and Southwest Fourth Avenue. A map of upcoming projects can be found on the city’s website, www.oakharbor.org/tbd.
The city council has oversight of the transportation benefit district, but the quasi-judicial corporation has independent taxing authority to fund road work.
The transportation benefit district pays for street overlay or reconstruction projects on local streets, and can be used for improvements to sidewalks and bicycle lanes.
There are 148 lane miles of streets in Oak Harbor city limits and 103 miles of those are local streets.