No Additional Funds Going to Turlock Roads in Proposed Budget

Brandon McMillan/TurlockCityNews.com

Turlock City Council will be taking a slightly different approach to road repairs when the budget is approved for the 2015-16 fiscal year, however it will not include any additional funds.

Last year, Turlock City Council elected to include $50,000 from the general fund for road maintenance — specifically for pothole repair.

The money, this year, will still be dedicated to road maintenance, but instead used for a crack seal contract, if Mayor Gary Soiseth’s budget recommendations are adopted.

Soiseth determined that a crack seal contract would be more cost effective for Turlock roads then adding a pothole repair team, after discussing the options with staff.

“While we have our pothole crews going out and doing their jobs, we didn’t have that crack sealing component,” said Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities Allison Van Guilder. “So what was happening is you might have a crew go in and fill a bunch of potholes, but with that first rain all of that work is undone because the water comes in through the cracks."

The City of Turlock doesn’t typically use crack seal treatments on local roads, with the last project being 19,300 square yards along Canal Drive. The cost of the Canal Drive project was $11,800 — or 61 cents per square yard.

At this cost, the City of Turlock is estimating the ability to crack seal 13 lane miles, or 82,000 square yards, with the $50,000 allocation.

“It’s conservative, we know,” said Van Guilder. “It’s a step in the right direction though, we believe, and works to compliment what we’re already doing in terms of our pothole crews."

It is unknown at this time which roads exactly would receive the treatment, but it may divide the city into zones, with a different zone being treated each year.

Soiseth said the program is only a pilot program and depending on the effectiveness of the program during the first year, if it is approved, Turlock City Council could continue the program in future years and continue to increases funding.

“We can evaluate the actual effectiveness of this crack seal contract and allocate $50,000, $25,000, $100,000 the following year,” said Soiseth.

The treatment would not be an ultimate fix for Turlock roads, which have been sharply deteriorating over years.

The majority of funds dedicated to road maintenance and repaving comes from the Gas Tax, which is estimated to bring in $353,000 for 2015-16. The City of Turlock typically uses Gas Tax dollars as matching dollars for federal money — hence the reason major corridors such as Fulkerth Road and Monte Vista Avenue have been repaved in recent years.

Despite the limited funds going to roads this upcoming fiscal year, Soiseth ensures the public that roads continue to be a priority.

“Roads continue to be a top priority,” said Soiseth. “We are resurfacing Hawkeye and Geer Roads, two of our worst thoroughfares in the city. We are bringing our sidewalks up to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. And we are aggressively filling potholes, with the proposed addition of a crack sealing contract to increase the lifespan of our neglected roads.”

Looking forward, with the failure of Measure B — the half-cent sales tax dedicated to Turlock roads — in November 2014, Soiseth has said he will be fighting for local roads through a regional approach, most likely in the way of a Stanislaus County-wide sales tax. The funds from the countywide tax would be divided all around the area, so not all will come to Turlock.

“While some road repair measures seem small, I'm also working diligently as a member of StanCOG to put forward a county-wide road improvement measure that will fix both our city and county roads,” said Soiseth. “As a self-help county with access to millions of dollars of transportation dollars, this regional approach to road repair is the best possible solution for our city's roadways.”

A tax, of course, would still need to be approved by voters if Stanislaus County decides to move forward with it.

Turlock City Council will consider this budget change, as well as many others when they attempt to adopt the first-ever two year budget for 2015-16 and 2016-17 at the June 9 meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. 

Comments 9

  1. Guest says:

    The county just lowered the amount for roads and more on social services.
    Maybe they are hoping for the tax increase to pass if the roads are worse?

  2. Joke of a Mayor says:

    Where is the Mayor’s plan after 100 days of “talking” or was it learning where tax dollars are spent. Shouldn’t a candidate already know this? I’m very disappointed with Sosieth, he wouldn’t support the tax increase which would have gone to fix CURRENT roads, and now he doesn’t have a better plan. What’s the point?

  3. Sounds like a sham to me says:

    So city workers were using the wrong sealant or no seal at all. Pathetic. The Kid Mayor has no idea what he is doing, our roads will be a mess for years to come.

  4. Guest says:

    That’s why I voted for Michael Eggman. We would have been better off.

  5. SIR CHLOROSIS says:

    “It was an honor to continue the Arbor Day tradition of planting new trees at a local school. Thank you to Brown Elementary School for hosting this year’s event.” – Mayor Gary Soiseth
    WTF??? HEY SOISETH WHEN YOU CAN SPARE A MINUTE, HOP IN YOUR TAX PAID CITY VEHICLE AND DRIVE DOWN COUNTRY WALK LANE AND WELLINGTON LANE AND TAKE A DAMN GOOD LOOK AT YOUR FKNING ARBOR DAY TRADITION!! THIS ONCE WAS A BEAUTIFUL GREENBELT AREA!!! IT HASN’T BEEN WATERED IN MONTHS!! THE DAMN WELLS ARE DRY!! THE ONCE BEAUTIFUL TAX PAID GREENBELT IS NOW A HUGE DUSTBOWL!! PLUS THE DUSTBOWL TREE’S ARE ALL DYING NOW!!! THE SURROUNDING PROPERTIES EACH PAY A MELLO ROOS TAX ON THE STREET LIGHTING AND LANDSCAPING, ON AVERAGE ITS ABOUT $1,000.00 A PARCEL ON TOP OF THEIR REGULAR PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS!!! AND GARY BOY WHAT DO THEY GET IN RETURN????? A FKN DRY AZZ DUST BOWL WITH DEAD AZZ TREES!!! IT LOOKS LIKE A SCENE FROM THE MOVIE ” THE ROAD ” THE IRONIC THING THERE IS, JUST LOOK BEYOND THE EASTERN FENCE LINE THE FIELDS ARE FLOODED WITH GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED WATER!!!!! YOU MAKE US SICK!!! WE’RE ALL STARTING TO THINK THAT EVEN A CAITLYN JENNER WOULD BE A BETTER MAYOR!!

  6. Macadam Rhode says:

    We’re talking about filling potholes that only stay filled for a very short time? And sealing cracks (which leave the underlying broken bits of road in place to re-crack)? It sounds like The Power(s) That Be are a little cracked. And so few people were interviewed for this story. This is a joke, right?

  7. blame game says:

    Don’t blame the Mayor, blame Pitcock.

  8. I blame Sosieth says:

    I agree about the 100 day “plan” being a waste of time. It was a dog and pony show so the kid Mayor could get his face in the newspaper. Enough is enough. Quit blaming city staff, this is all about Sosieth. He has no clue, look at the sidewalk proposal, 15 real estate agents came out to protest. Are we doomed?

  9. Nascimento is the only one with common sense says:

    I watched last night’s council meeting, what a joke @ the budget. Soiseth is leading the city down a path to bankruptcy. Instead of being fiscally conservative, he’s paying off debt as a savings. National economists are predicting a downturn in the economy, even Gov. Brown has a rainy day fund and Soiseth votes to spend down the city’s reserves. Incompetent kid Mayor strikes again.

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