Members of the Lincoln Independent Business Association heard two different views on the proposed quarter-cent sales tax Tuesday. Bob Caldwell, of the committee recommending the tax, says the extra $13 Million a year will be money well spent.
“We’re a growing city, we need the resources, we have all the positive groups that support it. It’s our one chance to make a moderate approach to the problem.”
Attorney Peter Katt argued against the sales tax increase, charging that the city’s Transportation and Utilities department doesn’t manage current funds well. He called the six lane Salt Creek Roadway and the proposal for a triple decker roundabout in southwest Lincoln examples of poor management of street dollars.
“All of the same leadership exists inside that department, and until that’s fixed, I’m not sending any more money to City Hall for roads.”
Caldwell said the Committee that investigated options for increased street repairs and construction came up with nearly two dozen suggestions for economy and process improvement in the way Lincoln streets are built currently.
“Everything from looking at the compaction of the soil to using different dowel rods in the concrete to using a different lane width to save money.”
Caldwell said City Engineers have already implemented some of the committee’s suggestions.
Katt responded by saying that the professionals who are paid to manage streets for the city should not need a citizens committee to show them how to improve their construction techniques.