City Council will hear from west end residents Monday night over Breen Avenue and the decision is a difficult one given the cost of even these relatively small projects.
Residents of the street are anxious for a rebuild and that is entirely understandable. This is a close knit neighborhood where people are proud of their homes and an improved street would be a wonderful thing
Every member of City Council knows this project has been in the queue for years, even though there are other streets more heavily used and in similar or worse condition.
The downside is cost...While this is a project slated for 2010, the costs associated with it or any project come at a time when revenues have softened. To sustain the first year debt service costs would mean a percentage or two on the property tax levy in a budget where the five year plan already assumes an 8 percent increase.
This is the classic legislative conundrum of spending and tax rates, compounded by a general nervousness about debt in a nation so wracked by overspending.
There are sound arguments on both sides and that is why normally perfunctory bond ordinance vote has become difficult.