Carson City supervisor to hold town hall on funding road maintenance

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Brad Bonkowski, Carson City Ward 2 supervisor and chair of the Carson City Regional Transportation Commission, will be the featured speaker at Monday’s Democratic luncheon. His appearance is intended as a town hall on the still unresolved issue of how maintenance of Carson’s 676 lane-miles of roadway should be funded.

A question on the 2016 ballot would have authorized the Board of Supervisors to raise fuel taxes by up to 3 cents per gallon every year from 2017 through 2026. It was estimated to have raised an additional $40 million for road maintenance, but it failed by a vote of 16,163 to 8,351, or 66 to 34 percent.

In the absence of any long-term funding strategy, the city has been forced to make do with the limited resources it has available. Meanwhile decision makers and concerned community members continue to seek consensus on the issue. And as the city’s Pavement Management Plan explains, deferring maintenance saves no money in the long term. It only adds to the cost.

The Pavement Management Plan, available on the Public Works website at, sets out a strategy for street maintenance for the 2019 through 2023 fiscal years. It shows the current Pavement Condition Index (PCI) rating of city roadways. This plan is used to set targets for improving pavement conditions at a city-wide level.

The RTC’s capital projects budget, funded by the gasoline tax, is less than $2 million a year, around $2.5 million when federal funds are added to the total. That’s enough to pay for crack sealing and pothole filling along with surface sealing and a limited amount of mill-and-overlay repaving, where the top two inches of pavement are removed and replaced. But the cost of keeping all of Carson’s streets in average condition is estimated to be $15 million a year. That translates into a shortfall of at least $100 million over ten years. Obviously there’s a lot to talk about.

This event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Monday in the banquet room of Carson City’s Round Table, on Retail Drive just off College Parkway. Sponsored by the Democratic Men’s Committee, these luncheons help keep the lights on at Carson City’s Democratic HQ. Suggested donations of $5 or more are gratefully accepted but aren’t required. All are welcome.

For information contact Rich Dunn at 434-8783 or


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