By Scottsdale Pinetop
Like in any successful business owner knows, a company only works if you are willing to reinvest and make improvements to it. The city of Scottsdale has largely stopped doing that. As a result our infrastructure is crumbling. The roads need to be repaved, facilities need to be updated and bridges need to be repaired. Thankfully, the Scottsdale City Council is taking the right steps to address these growing issues.
The passage of Question 1 in November was a huge victory for Scottsdale to start addressing its road and transportation concerns. Scottsdale voters agreed to increase the city’s sales tax by 0.1 percent for 10 years to raise an estimated $100 million for transportation needs. Question 1 also provided Scottsdale with access to its regional transportation matching funds of $170 million. But this isn’t enough to address the bigger picture.
Currently there are 67 critical projects in Scottsdale that are up for debate. The projects include improvements to a number of city parks, updating fire and police facilities, repairs to roads and bridges and potentially build a parking structure in Old Town. To help get more insight, Scottsdale has scheduled five public meetings through mid-March to ask for public review and input. Click here to see the full list of projects and public meetings.
Let us not forget that none of these improvements are possible without the proper funds. To help funds these projects, the City Council will again consider the possibility of a General Obligation Bond Election in November. How that bond question will be presented to the public is still being developed.
There’s no doubt that winning a bond election is a tall order for many Scottsdale residents. Just three years ago, voters passed only two of the six bond requests. The last time the city passed a more comprehensive bond request for city infrastructure was 18 years ago. But just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean that it’s not necessary. Or worth a try.
Scottsdale is a beautiful and unique place because its residents and councils in the past have invested in its future. Will we be able to say the same thing years from now about today’s leaders? Scottsdale and its voters have unquestionably allowed its infrastructure to deteriorate. Bond elections are the most transparent and cost-effective approach to resolving the situation. This is something the City Council cannot afford to delay further, especially if it has hopes of being on the November ballot.