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Steps taken toward street improvments

By Scott Harvey

Commerce – The City of Commerce has taken the next steps toward improving city streets and utility lines. The City Council approved a contract Tuesday with Hayter Engineering Inc. to conduct a city wide drainage study. The $78,690 needed to fund the study will be subtracted from the $3 million in bonds approved by citizens in May.

The scope of the study will include a 20-year drainage plan for a designated planning area generally conforming to the city limits and immediate surrounding area. The limits of the planning area will be determined in conjunction with City staff and with the future land use portions of the City's current comprehensive plan.

Hayter Engineering should be able to proceed with the study shortly after the August 18 council meeting, where the city will properly allocate the funds needed for the study. The study is projected to take four to six months, after which the city and Hayter can address in full the needs and scenarios for street improvements.

In May, Commerce residents approved the $3 million bond package for street and utility repairs. Bonds will be paid for by an increase in property taxes over the next 20 years. Prior to the election, it was anticipated the bonds would require an approximate maximum tax rate increase of 1.47 cents per $100 valuation of property. In other words, residents living in a $50,000 home would pay an extra $7.35 per year, while those residing in a $100,000 home would pay $14.70 more per year.