Bill should reduce road work outlays

To the editor:

I always appreciate hearing constituent perspectives on issues at the Capitol. It opens dialogue to display the facts versus fiction. Recently I’ve heard from a number of people on Senate File 607, which is a bill to improve and maintain roads.

S.F. 607 does not increase taxes. It gives permission for cities, that have street maintenance policies in place, to extend the service life of streets via a timely maintenance schedule. The bill has widespread bipartisan support with the co-authorship of former majority leader Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, and Sen. John Pederson, R-St. Cloud. City leaders and utilities departments in Burnsville and Eagan also support the bill and more than 100 municipalities and the League of Minnesota Cities, which represents more than 800 cities, have submitted resolutions.

The mayors, council members and engineers who appeared at the Capitol and testified in support of this initiative recognize what most people who own homes and automobiles know: timely maintenance extends service life and avoids costly replacements. Engineers showed data where $1 in timely maintenance avoids $7 in replacement costs. Cities assert that maintenance districts will save costs and avoid higher property taxes. The initiative requires an equitable application of costs across property categories and requires a hearing and ordinance passed by elected city officials.

The bill passed the Transportation Committee on an overwhelming voice vote. I urge anyone with questions to contact my office, the mayors, city managers or public utility officials who are soundly behind this legislation.

Jim Carlson
State senator for District 58 – Burnsville and Eagan