NEWBURYPORT — The City Council unanimously approved an order Monday to bond $1.2 million annually to reduce the city's backlog of streets and sidewalks needing repairs over the next five years.
The city budgets about $520,000 per year for street and sidewalk repairs and repaving, with about $500,000 coming as Chapter 90 funding from the state. The remaining $20,000 is derived from the city’s meals tax revenues.
The order, drafted by Ward 2 Councilor Jared Eigerman and co-sponsored by Councilors Joseph Devlin and Sharif Zeid, would appropriate $1.2 million per year for street and sidewalk repairs, as well as drainage-related issues within the public way, beginning in fiscal 2020.
The order also requires 50% of the money to be spent on "local" streets — meaning it cannot be spent on the city's main roadways.
Earlier this year, the council unanimously approved an amendment to the capital improvement plan for fiscal 2020 to 2024 to spend $2 million each year on street and sidewalk repairs instead of the original $520,000.
The order was amended by Eigerman at the council meeting Monday night. The original version would have required the city to bond $2 million per year for street and sidewalk repairs for five years.
Eigerman said the amended version is a "compromise" and relies on the city's agreement to spend the current $500,000 in state Chapter 90 funding as well as an additional $300,000 from the city's meals tax revenues, bringing the total funding for street and sidewalk repairs to $2 million per year.
For more on the City Council meeting, follow newburyportnews.com or read Wednesday's print edition of The Daily News.
Staff writer Jack Shea covers Newburyport City Hall. He can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.