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Hamilton citizen group putting up Fix Our Streets levy signs

Fix Our Streets signs, supporting Hamilton s proposed street-repair levy that will be on the March 17 ballot, are going up now. They are paid for by private donations, not by city government. MIKE RUTLEDGE/STAFF
Fix Our Streets signs, supporting Hamilton s proposed street-repair levy that will be on the March 17 ballot, are going up now. They are paid for by private donations, not by city government. MIKE RUTLEDGE/STAFF

With about 70 days until Election Day on March 17, a Hamilton citizen’s group has been putting up Fix Our Streets tax levy signs.

Billboards soon will follow, said Jack Whalen, chairman of the group, who noted all money for the signs, billboards and the rest of the campaign have come from private donations, but none from city government.

The yellow-and-black signs, the colors of roads and the double lines that often run down the middle of them, have an image of cracking asphalt. The signs say the proposed Hamilton street-repair levy will fix potholes, improve safety, increase property values and reduce automobile repair costs.

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They also advise voters, “for more information visit fixourstreetshamilton.com.”

That site, under its Frequently Asked Questions area, offers answers to commonly asked questions, such as why the money can’t come from other parts of the city’s budget and whether if approved. The answer provided is: “To increase the budget for street maintenance, the city would currently have to cut funding to core services. The money would need to be cut from areas such as Fire, Police, Parks, Health, and other areas that are vital to the health of our city.”

Will the money will be used for something other than streets? is another question. The answer offered to that is: “No. Levy funds will raise an additional $3.1 million to fix our streets.”

Some 70 percent of Hamilton streets are in fair to poor condition, city Engineer Rich Engle has said. Whalen noted that the more deteriorated a street is, the more rapidly it will further crumble, making it even more expensive to repair.

The proposed 10-year, 3.9-mill property tax levy that will generate $3.1 million per year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $136.50 per year. Proponents hope that when the 10 years are finished, voters will be satisfied with what they saw and will approve a renewal.