By Ashley Rader
The $96,000 generated by a 4-cent property tax rate increase will go a long way toward helping Elizabethton catch up on street repairs.
Exactly how far is still being mapped out.
Street and Sanitation Department Director Danny Hilbert said the property tax increase would almost double the department’s street resurfacing budget.
“We already had $100,000 budgeted for street repairs this year,” Hilbert said. “The extra $96,000 will definitely help us make some of the repairs that need to be done.”
While the department has been able to do some streets over the years with the $100,000 resurfacing budget, council members became concerned that the streets would fall behind and become more expensive to fix, which led to the 4-cent increase.
Hilbert said he and city engineer Matthew Balogh survey the city streets to determine the condition, then make a priority listing. Those in the worst condition are listed first, and the department pulls from the list with consideration of how bad the street had deteriorated and what it would take to fix the street.
“It is hard to determine right now which streets would be the first to be done,” Hilbert said.