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Council passes plan for unimproved roads

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Posted at 5:05 PM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 15:37:13-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) --  — 
Tuesday afternoon the Omaha City Council passed a plan, introduced by Mayor Jean Stothert, 5-2 to fix some of Omaha's unimproved roads.

This is the 2nd time a policy for maintenance of roadways has been in front of the city council because there are hundreds of miles of these deteriorating streets.

When subdivisions were built decades ago, the roads weren't built to city standards. These streets are full of potholes and weren't built to last. The city says they're so bad they can't be fixed, and need to be rebuilt. There are 300 lane miles of unimproved roads in the metro.

The resolution would use more than $800,000 a year to help pay for improvements. Residents would have to pay 50% of the cost, but lower income neighborhoods could have all of it paid for by the city.

Councilman Chris Jerram says the proposal is a small step in the right direction.

"It's a $300 million dollar problem with a $300,000 proposal to start so it's very small in that regard but the other side of the proposal, the Street Improvement District cost sharing at 50% is important to me," Councilman Jerram explains.

Other councilmembers questioned if the city should pay for all for the costs. Mayor Stothert said that would have to be paid for by a large tax increase.

Under the new policy it is estimated about 4-5 streets can be rebuilt with the funds each year.

If you live on an unimproved road you can find out how bad the street is and if the city is repairing it or says it needs to be replaced by visiting the Omaha Paser Rating Look-up.