Pleasant Grove City Council unanimously approved a transportation utility fee, also known as a road fee, on Tuesday. The fee will go into effect in June and will be part of the July utility bills, according to City Administrator Scott Darrington.
The costs of the fees are based on road usage from national traffic standards, and will be different for residential and commercial users. Every residential unit in the city will be charged $8.45 per month.
The commercial fees are set up differently and are based on how much traffic the particular business generates during peak travel times. According to Darrington, there is a formula used to figure out which category businesses will fall under. Businesses with less traffic will be charged $41.27 per month. Others with more traffic will be charged $236.05 per month.
City leaders have been discussing the roads for several years, said Darrington.
Six years ago, every road in the city was given a road pavement condition rating. Later, an engineering study was commissioned by the city to determine how much it would cost to improve the roads. It was found that approximately $3.8 million annually for 20 years would be needed to get all of the roads in the city to good condition status.
In November, residents had the opportunity to vote for Fund Roads First Initiative, but it was defeated. Had the resident-sponsored initiative psased, $2.625 million would have been required to be used from the general fund annually to fix and maintain roads.
According to the city’s website, past funding for roads has come from gas tax, which is about $1.28 million each year. Over the past four years, the City Council has approved contributions of money from the general fund to go toward road maintenance. The total amount of these contributions is $425,000 and is a yearly contribution.
While the new road fee will help increase funding by about $1.4 million per year, there will still be a gap. However, with the fees, there will be $3.12 million total revenue for roads.
“100 percent of the fees will go to roads maintenance and engineering,” Darrington said.
The fee will be revisited every year along with all other utility rates.
“We look at the needs for that year,” Darrington said.
“We got more positive feedback on it than negative at the public hearings,” said Mayor Guy Fugal. “It’s definitely a burden on our citizens, but the majority have said they’re willing to pay the additional money to get the roads fixed.”
“We know this is just a start,” Fugal said. “We’re trying to fix something that has been going on for 20 to 30 years. It caught up on us. It will take another 20 to 30 years to get the roads to where they should be.”