Plan for Tax Given Dixon, Vacaville OK
By Tom Hall and Jason Massad/Staff Writers
Vacaville and Dixon officials both approved the expenditure plan Tuesday night for a proposed countywide sales tax measure for transportation, putting the measure well on its way to the June ballot.
The Vacaville City Council approved the expenditure, 4-0, with Pauline
Clancy abstaining. Clancy, who has not supported previous half-cent sales tax measures to generate local transportation funds, said she will stay out of the way of the current effort.
"Let the voters decide what they want," she said.
It appears the voters will get to decide, as backers need only one of four remaining city councils in the county to approve the expenditure plan, along with county supervisors, to place the measure on the ballot for the attempt, tentatively dubbed Measure H, to come before voters in June.
The Rio Vista City Council will vote on the plan Thursday, and Benicia, Fairfield and Suisun City will vote Tuesday.
The transit tax, if successful in obtaining a two-thirds majority of voters in June, would pump nearly $100 million into Vacaville and $20 million into Dixon for street maintenance and coveted projects.
An estimated countywide total of nearly $1.6 billion would be created over 30 years, should the measure pass.
Tax funds would help pay for an initial study on Highway 113, a regional route Dixon leaders have long waited to relocate from downtown.
It would be a first step in a long process for rerouting the highway, but an important step, said Dixon Mayor Mary Ann Courville.
"I don't know if we'll see it in my lifetime," she said. "But if we don't do it now it will never, ever get done."
Vacaville leaders decried the state of Interstate 80 through Solano. Councilman Steve Hardy commented on a the bumpy trek to points east and west via the freeway.
"I can barely keep my teeth in my jaws," Hardy quipped.
The Dixon City Council, by a 4-1 vote, approved the plan, though not without trepidation. Councilman Steve Alexander voted against.
Councilman Gil Vega wondered what happens to state and federal funds even if the tax measure passes.
"Do we have a Plan B if Congress says we simply don't have the funds?" he asked.
Tom Hall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jason Massad can be reached at email@example.com.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
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