Port Townsend transportation tax dollars to be put to work

Benefits district to raise $400,000 to $600,000 in first year

PORT TOWNSEND — Money from Port Townsend’s newly formed Transportation Benefits District will be put to use repaving city streets this summer, with additional projects planned for next year.

The Transportation Benefits District (TBD) was approved by Port Townsend voters last fall, and it is expected to generate between $400,000 and $600,000 in the first year, according to Public Works Director Steve King.

The district enacted a 0.3 percent sales tax beginning April 1, and because of the delay, King said only about $400,000 would be available this year. The tax is set to be in place for the next 10 years.

“We propose three priority spot treatments with this year’s TBD money to show the public immediate action,” King said at a Port Townsend City Council meeting Monday.

The three areas that will be repaved are Jefferson Street between Penny Saver Mart and the Food Co-op, the bottom of Cook Avenue near the intersection with Hastings Way, and Mill Road on the downhill approach to state Highway 20.

“These are all improvements for all community members, these three spots,” council member Monica MickHagger said at Monday’s meeting.

The TBD, approved by 78 percent of Port Townsend voters, is projected to raise about $800,000 annually, still not enough to tackle the city’s $980,000 in annual street costs.

The city hopes to conduct a series of public meetings this summer to discuss options for the 2025 transportation budget, King said.

On the ballot proposition for the TBD, the city said that, of the money raised, about $250,000 would be put toward matching funds for grants, $400,000 to $500,000 for street preservation and repair, $25,000 for traffic calming and $50,000 to $100,000 for sidewalks.

“We would like to do three touchpoints this summer where we outline different options and priorities for the investment of next year’s budget,” King said. “We’re talking with the county about chip sealing partnerships; we’re looking at paving options. We would come to council with a proposal and run that through the public dialogue.”

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached by email at peter.segall@peninsulanews.us.

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