110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Elections update: County Council candidates talk about roads, SunRail, and how to pay for them
By Pat Andrews
posted Aug 21, 2014 - 9:21:41am
Volusia County’s road fund is running dry and struggling to pay $4 million a year in road-bond debt the county took on in 2004. That bond won't be paid off for another 10 years.
Making the situation worse, gasoline-tax revenues have fallen, as people drive less in more fuel-efficient cars and buy less gas. Also, impact fees for road-building vanished along with construction during the bust that began in 2007.
A total of $4.7 million will be transferred from utility proceeds to take care of road maintenance that has been deferred. The county staff is hopeful road-impact fees will increase a bit in the coming years, as construction picks up.
Meanwhile, the county is looking at an $88 million obligation to SunRail over the next 25 years, and $1.68 million for commuter rail is in the tentative 2014-15 budget.
This spring, the County Council discussed the idea of a new half-cent or 1-cent sales tax to fund transportation needs. A 1-cent tax would boost the coffers by about $64 million a year. No action has been taken.
Funding transportation needs — mass transit, road building and repair, and commuter rail — will be a major challenge for the Volusia County Council over the next several years.
Read the candidates' responses in the Aug. 21-24 Weekend edition of The Beacon. To subscribe to The Beacon online, click here. For a list of newsstand locations, click here. To have the print edition mailed to your home twice a week, send your address via email to email@example.com.
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