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      Macomb city council votes to put tax increase on ballot

      UPDATE: Tuesday, July 6 at 9:09 p.m.

      The city of Macomb will go to the voters to help with street repairs.

      The public works department held a survey that identified about $30 million of street repairs needed throughout the city, but there isn't nearly enough money to cover those projects.

      Tuesday, the city council voted to adopt a resolution that would put a half percent sales tax increase on the November second ballot.

      The money created by that increase would go solely for infrastructure needs, such as fixing University Drive, one of the worst streets in the city.


      Most cities in the Tri-States could use a little street repair.

      A survey by the Macomb Public Works department shows that city needs $30 million worth.

      The problem, there isn't enough money to make a dent in those repairs.

      So Tuesday, July 6th the Macomb City Council will decide whether to ask voters for help.

      Council members will consider putting a half-percent sales tax increase on the November 2nd ballot.

      That tax money would be used solely for infrastructure needs.

      KHQA's Jarod Wells asked Macomb's city administrator how badly the city needs the money, and what situation the city will be in without it.

      Macomb City Administrator Dean Torrenson said, "Right now, we have about $900,000 a year that we can spend towards street improvements. But even at that rate we're just losing ground."

      The half percent sales tax would raise Macomb's sales tax to 7.75%, the same as in Quincy. Springfield's tax still would be higher at 8% Galesburg and Moline would be only a quarter percent less at 7.50%. It's estimated the tax would bring in another $900,000 per year, that would total about $1.8 million a year for street repairs.

      Torrenson said, "I believe what we're looking at here is trying to get as much bang for the buck as we can. What we're looking at doing is picking out the streets that are the most heavily used and in the worst condition and try to concentrate on those."

      University Drive and Western Avenue are two roads at the top of that list.

      Torrenson said, "Around the university there's a lot of bus traffic and those streets have gone downhill very quickly since the bus service was established earlier this decade."

      If this doesn't pass, what situation is the city of Macomb in?

      Torrenson said, "Same situation we've been in for quite a while. We will try to make do, we'll continue patching potholes and trying to hold the streets together."

      The city council will meet at seven o'clock on Tuesday, July 6th.

      Again, if that resolution is adopted, voters in Macomb will see a half-cent sales tax increase issue on the November 2nd ballot.