Boulder is considering adopting a transportation maintenance fee, and city officials want to hear what community members think about the idea.
They're holding stakeholder meetings with a variety of groups, including the University of Colorado, Boulder Valley School District, federal labs, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Plan-Boulder County and Downtown Boulder Inc., and an open house is scheduled for March 4.
The open house will be held at the Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th St., from 4:30 to 6 p.m. March 4. The event will be followed by a presentation on local strategies to slow climate change from 6 to 8 p.m.
People can also provide feedback on the fee at InspireBoulder.com, where the city is soliciting ideas on transportation funding and priorities.
The city's Transportation Advisory Board has endorsed the idea of a transportation maintenance fee. Several City Council members have expressed concern that the fee does not provide any incentives to drive less and that it will be perceived by the public as a tax.
The City Council is scheduled to discuss the idea again at its April 9 study session.
City officials said declining tax revenues and rising construction costs have made it harder for the city to maintain its streets the way it would like. The city aims for an "overall condition index" of 78 for its streets, but it's now at 75.
The proposed transportation maintenance fee would be collected on utility bills, like the stormwater management fee, and would raise between $2.5 million and $5.6 million.
The lower end of the range would cover the funding gap between what the city spends now on road maintenance, including sidewalks and multi-use paths, and what it needs to spend to maintain pavement to its standards. The higher end would also cover current maintenance spending, freeing up money in the transportation budget to spend on other needs.
The proposed fees range from $35 to $80 a year for single-family detached homes and from 10 to 22 cents per square foot for commercial buildings and shopping centers.
Officials propose different rate structures for different types of commercial and industrial property based on how much traffic they generate.
Unlike many taxes, the fees as proposed would apply to other governmental entities, including the University of Colorado and Boulder Valley School District, which would be assessed per-student fees.
For more information on the proposed fee, go to bouldercolorado.gov/transportation/funding.