West Virginia- On Oct. 7, a $1.6 billion bond election will take place for the Roads to Prosperity Highway Program referendum. The bonds would be sold to pay for road work in Monongalia County and then paid back with car sales, gas taxes and an increased fee for motor vehicle registration. Eight projects in Monongalia County would be funded with the general obligation bonds. The projects, totaling $230 million, include the following:
– Work on .59 mile of the Mileground from Donna Avenue to County Route 857, Easton area – $15 million;
– Widening the Mileground from the Roundabout to the Morgantown Municipal Airport – $27 million;
– Improving and widening the Green Bag Road from the Kingwood Pike to White Park – $16 million;
– Improving and widening West Run Road – $13 million;
– Widening, improving drainage and adding a sidewalk to part of Van Voorhis Road – $11 million;
– Improving and widening Beechurst Avenue from Sixth to Eighth streets, near the Seneca Center shopping plaza – $8 million;
– Building directional ramps at the Interstate 79 Star City interchange and improving Chaplin Hill Road – $40 million; and
– Constructing a new connector from I-79 to Morgantown – $100 million.
Projects would advance as they become ready and would begin with those that don’t need rights-of-way purchased or utility work before construction can start.
California- Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) president Jeff DeFranco’s first State of the College Address focused on several projects taking place that could increase enrollment. One of the upcoming projects that could combat low community college enrollment is to create student housing on campus.
By 2022, the school intends to be a residential campus and solve the housing problem for South Lake Tahoe students. In the meantime, the school plans on providing interim housing support. Within the next year, the LTCC hopes to secure a private partner to start building their housing on campus.
California- San Mateo City Council members are reviewing funding options for flood control improvements in the North Shoreview and parts of North Central neighborhoods where property owners will be asked to form an assessment district. In 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency mandated insurance for about 1,600 residents with mortgages that live in a flood zone along the San Mateo Bayfront. The project would cost $23.5 million and would include enhancing the levee and two pump stations.
The city council discussed forming the North Shoreview Flood Control Assessment District following a survey of property owners who showed a majority support for taxing themselves for the next 20 years to help cover the nearly $2.4 million cost of levee repairs. The city will mail ballots in mid-October and, if a majority of respondents agree, would form the district with levies assessed on property tax bills next fiscal year.
Illinois- Downtown Bloomington is getting revitalized and in May, the city council unanimously approved the creation of a nine-member task force focused on potential opportunities. Areas of interest include parking, public places, walkability and beautification.
While the task force’s recommendations are not due until December, one suggestion has already gained popularity and spurred motivation- the creation of a hotel district through a private-public partnership. While previous projects have failed, both the task force and the city’s 2015 master plan highlight the need for a new development downtown. These recommendations have attracted the attention of firms interested in developing the land without seeking financial assistance from the city.