Omaha council discusses cost-sharing plan for road reconstruction

Posted at 7:12 PM, Jul 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 20:17:22-04

"Ever since they re-rocked it, when people come by, I mean, it's just really dusty. You can see what my car looks like. And it looks like this every day," said Tom Perich, who lives at 78th & Poppleton.

Tom Perich is among the many homeowners in Omaha living on so-called "substandard" gravel-like roads. The city has a plan of action — improving roadways in "road improvement districts" and "street improvement districts" under a cost-share program.

Property owners in street improvement districts — where full reconstruction with a concrete surfacing is needed — would split the bill with the city 50/50. In a road maintenance district — one that uses asphalt overlay — property owners would foot 75 percent of the bill. It's an incentive to encourage reconstruction using concrete, which has a longer life span than asphalt.

“With either one of these it's expected to be a one-time option. If folks decide to go with the asphalt, that's it. That's their decision. 15 or 20 years later, when that product reaches the end of life, then they'd have to decide what to do.”

“The initial estimate from public works departments is $18,000 per homeowner and we could stomach something that's closer to $12k but 50 percent cost share gets us to $18,000. It would be $36,000 per homeowner,” said Ryan Palmer, homeowner.

In neighborhoods designated as high poverty, the city will pay an additional 10-15 percent of the bill for road reconstruction.

Some property owners say they're fighting a losing battle against these roads, they want to see an end in sight, but at what cost to their checkbook?

The City Council voted to revisit the issue again in two weeks.