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Measure T Funds

This portion of roadway at Trancas and Jefferson streets may be one of the first repaired with funds from Measure T, the sales tax initiative that takes effect in July 2018.

J.L. Sousa, Register

When Measure T takes effect next year, the city of Napa plans to immediately pave two major streets that are in bad shape.

Paving projects on Trancas Street and Trower Avenue are among the city’s highest priorities when the first funds become available starting in July 2018, according to the Public Works department.

The repairs would draw on a half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2012 that is expected to produce $300 million over 25 years to fill potholes and replace failing pavement.

The city likely will receive $6 million to $9 million from Measure T in its first year of operation, with money left over after the Trower and Trancas projects get their shares, according to Public Works Director Jacques LaRochelle.

Although the flow of tax dollars will not start for more than a year, LaRochelle said Napa may use other funds for planning. This could allow the city to put paving projects out to bid before Measure T kicks in.

Without some form of pre-funding, he said Monday, “by the time we got it to bid it would be winter, and then you wouldn’t see any construction for almost a year. The people who voted for this have certain expectations.”

Resurfacing of Trower Avenue would extend at least from Highway 29 east to its terminus at Vintage High School. If funds permit, the repair would pave Trower in the other direction as well, up to Dry Creek Road in the west.

To the south, Napa also intends to use Measure T money to lay down fresh pavement on Trancas Street from Highway 29 to Jefferson Street. Further eastward paving would be put on hold until Napa decides when to first bury utility lines along Trancas, according to LaRochelle.

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Although the first road-repair revenues will not be raised for more than a year, cities can start planning how to spend their Measure T money as early as they choose. They also must file five-year expenditure plans with the Napa Valley Transportation Authority by Dec. 31, 2017.

To prevent cities from simply swapping Measure T money for local funds they already spend on road upkeep, local governments must spend the same amount on streets they averaged in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 fiscal years. An independent taxpayer’s oversight committee will review road spending plans starting in January 2018.

In addition to paving Trancas Street and Trower Avenue, Napa’s spending plan may set aside money for sidewalk repairs, bolster the city’s 10-mile-a-year road repair schedule accomplished by city workers, not contractors, and cover replacements of one or two traffic signals a year, said LaRochelle.

“Everything in our existing infrastructure in our rights of way that has failed, we want to spread (funds) around the city as much as possible, and try to address our needs citywide as best we can,” he said.


City of Napa/Town of Yountville Reporter

Howard Yune covers the city of Napa and the town of Yountville. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.