Lawrence City Commission to review infrastructure spending plan for sales tax proceeds

Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St., is pictured on May 3, 2016.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Lawrence City Commission will review an infrastructure spending plan for the proposed citywide sales tax renewal.

If approved by voters in November, the 0.55 percent special tax would be in place from 2019 to 2029. It is projected to generate more than $116 million for city infrastructure, transit and affordable housing.

The commission will vote Tuesday whether to adopt the spending plan for the 0.3 percent sales tax that would go toward infrastructure.

City staff is proposing that the commission use the 2018-2022 capital improvement plan as the spending plan. The CIP lists several high-dollar infrastructure projects and annual programs that would be funded with the sales tax. Those include the residential street maintenance program, improvements to 23rd Street, and increased funding for sidewalk, bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

The ballot language that the commission previously adopted is binding and provides the parameters for spending the sales tax proceeds. The ballot language allows the funds to go toward constructing or improving various types of transportation infrastructure or purchasing fire equipment. The spending plan provides examples of specific projects that meet those parameters.

The City Commission adopted the 2018-2022 CIP as part of its budget process and assumed renewal of the sales tax. The ballot language would continue to provide the spending parameters for years beyond 2022. The commission would still review and make changes to the plan annually as part of the budget process.

Below is a list of some of the projects or programs in the CIP. A full list is available on the city’s website,

• $300,000 annually, from 2019 through 2022, for traffic calming projects.

• Funding for various equipment purchases, including $540,000 for personal protective equipment and $600,000 for mobile radios for the fire and medical department.

• Increased funding for sidewalk, bicycle and pedestrian improvements. The CIP includes $600,000 for this program in 2019, and it increases the amount annually to $1 million in 2021 and 2022.

• Increased funding for in-house pavement rehabilitation. The CIP includes $100,000 for the program annually from 2019 to 2021, and then increases the amount to $125,000 in 2022.

• $1 million for improvements to Kasold Drive, from Clinton Parkway to the entrance to Hy-Vee.

• $1.3 million annually, from 2019 through 2022, for the contracted street maintenance program.

• $2.8 million for improvements to Wakarusa Drive, from 18th Street to Research Parkway.

• $4.75 million for improvements to 23rd Street, from the Haskell Bridge to the eastern city limits. Additional phases are anticipated for years beyond 2022.

The City Commission will convene at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.