The San Ramon City Council is set to debate giving its support Tuesday to a proposed new half-cent sales tax to fund transportation improvements across Contra Costa County.
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority wants to ask voters to approve a new, countywide 0.5% sales tax in the fall that would remain in effect through March 2047 and would generate an estimated $2.8 billion in funding over the 30 years, as measured in today's dollars.
"Currently, transportation needs significantly exceed projected revenues," city transportation division manager Lisa Bobadilla wrote in her staff report to the council. "The new sales tax measure is intended to keep Contra Costa County moving and to create livable and sustainable communities."
More than 23% of the tax revenue would be intended to maintain and improve local streets in the county, under the proposed transportation expenditure plan.
Funds would also go toward major streets (10.4% of tax revenue), bus transit and ferry services (12%), pedestrian and bicycle facilities (4%), transportation services for seniors, people with disabilities and schoolchildren (6.2% combined).
Specific projects include commuter corridors such as Interstates 680 and 80, Highways 242 and 4, Vasco Road and the Byron Highway, as well as BART capacity increases and eBART extension to Brentwood.
Bobadilla described the proposed expenditure plan as "transformative on every level."
"With a strong focus on technology and innovation, the (plan) will deliver a more efficient, cleaner and faster transportation system ... and will help reduce emissions through a higher emphasis on transit, technology and alternative modes of transportation," she said.
"(The plan) also sets forward clear policies ensuring that while communities grow, the growth is kept within set urban limit lines," she added. "Furthermore, increased investments in bike and pedestrian facilities bring access to the outdoors to every community."
The plan needs to be approved by the county Board of Supervisors and city and town councils that in aggregate represent a majority of cities and towns in the county as well as a majority of the incorporated populations. The sales tax measure, if placed on the ballot, would require approval from more than two-thirds of voters.
The San Ramon council will weigh in Tuesday night during its regular meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. inside City Hall at 7000 Bollinger Canyon Road.
In other business
* The council will consider confirming and levying the 2016-17 assessments for the city's landscaping and lighting district.
The district is comprised of a citywide lighting zone, a citywide landscaping zone and 17 smaller special zones, with property owners in each zone paying an annual assessment to support maintenance of public landscaping and street lighting within the zone.
City staff recommends increasing assessments for four of the zones -- the only changes proposed for next fiscal year.
The increases include 2% hikes for both citywide zones, which would raise the citywide lighting zone annual assessment to $30.23 per unit and the citywide landscaping assessment up to $65.29 per unit.
The proposal also calls for increasing the assessment for Zone 5, Summerwood Loop by $5 to $160 overall and a $15 increase for Zone 12, El Nido to bring that assessment to $75.
City officials estimate generating $788,000 in citywide lighting zone revenues and $1.59 million in citywide landscaping zone revenues next year, both of which are similar to revenue levels for this year. They anticipate $1.2 million in special assessment zone revenues overall for 2016-17, almost $4,000 more than this year.
* The council will consider contributing $93,485 to the city of Dublin's Dougherty Road widening project, which includes work in about 500 feet of San Ramon city right-of-way.
The funds will come from the Southern Contra Costa County Joint Exercise of Powers Authority regional traffic impact fee fund, according to San Ramon city officials.
* Mayor Bill Clarkson will present a proclamation in recognition of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome awareness.
* The councilmen will consider reappointing Randy Pedersoli as the San Ramon representative to the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority Citizen Advisory Committee.
* They will also receive the annual report from the city's Economic Development Advisory Committee.
* Before the regular meeting Tuesday, the council will take part in a special joint meeting at 5 p.m. at City Hall with the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District for a final status report on the new joint dispatch center for the fire district and San Ramon Police Department.
A ribbon-cutting for the joint San Ramon Valley 9-1-1 Communications Center is scheduled for this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Fire Station 31, 800 San Ramon Valley Blvd. in Danville.