By DAVID DAVIS
Cleveland City Manager Janice Casteel said completing capital improvement projects would require a 6-cent property tax increase to repay the bonds.
The city official outlined a list of capital improvement needs on March 11, during a City Council budget workshop. The total cost of the projects would be about $8.947 million, minus $1.7 million Cleveland City Schools owes the city. That would leave a total of $7.247 million of debt to repay with the 2011 general improvement bond.
Among the capital improvement items are $3.089 million of Public Works Department projects. It would require roughly $2.5 cents in additional property taxes to pay for those projects that includes the following: Local Interstate  Connector North, $1 million; Local Interstate Connector South, $875,000; Ocoee and 25th Street intersection improvements, $424,000; Mouse Creek Road environmental and engineering, $290,600; Georgetown Road and 25th Street intersection improvements, $95,000; Stormwater Mapping, $300,000; and Durkee Road right of way purchase costs, an estimated $100,000.
Public Works Department Director Tommy Myers said during the workshop he might have to go into exclusively maintenance mode if he must make more cuts to his budget.
“I know you get tired of hearing this, but this winter has been [punishing to] our streets. We have got potholes everywhere,” Myers said. “The roads are falling apart. If we don’t get some paving on the ground, we’re going to lose some of our streets.”
He said the pickup price of asphalt is $53 a ton at one plant and $59 at a second plant. At this time of year, neither plant operates full time and where he buys asphalt depends on which one is operating.
“Anytime I get asphalt this time of year, we’re out working on curbs, street cuts and potholes somewhere,” he said. “That’s been the biggest problem. I’d love to put asphalt down, but on the prettiest days, the plants aren’t even open.”
He said a filling a 10-by-10 foot street cut 2 inches deep takes about 1.250 tons of asphalt. Depending on which of the two plants is open it costs $66.25 or $73.75 for that size cut. That price does not include man-hours, fuel or vehicle wear and tear.
The allocated amount for paving residential streets this spring is $327,500 and $500,000 in fiscal year 2012 from the disputed sales tax fund. That is assuming the City Council does not agree to the County Commission recommendation to put the sales tax money in a joint fund and use it to buy property for an industrial park.
The contractor price of putting down asphalt runs the city about $75 per ton this year. To put down a 2-inch overlay on a street 20 feet wide costs between $95,000 and $100,000 per mile. The city has about 300 miles of streets.