June 24, 2014 | Oregonlive.com-- A rallying cry of sorts emerged at two recent town halls in Portland to discuss a controversial monthly street fee on residents and business: Spend the money between the curbs.
As Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick campaign for more cash to spend on road safety and maintenance projects with an eye on a November City Council vote, the "between the curbs" theme could continue to gain steam.
Portland Bureau of Transportation officials have said for weeks that they lack the resources to maintain streets. In a budget briefing with a small group of reporters on Wednesday, PBOT opened its books and made its case.
The city is hoping a new funding stream could bring in up to $50 million annually, starting in July 2015.
Here are some facts and terms to keep in mind as Hales and Novick continue to push for more money for city streets.
HOW MUCH DOES PBOT HAVE TO SPEND?
The transportation bureau has a total of $314.3 million in revenue, but the vast majority of that amount can only be spent for specified purposes. An example is when the Bureau of Environmental Services pays PBOT to install bioswales as part of a paving project. Other dedicated funds include federal or state grants with strings attached.
The money over which PBOT has discretion is called General Transportation Revenue. It includes gas tax money from the state and Multnomah County. On-street parking revenue and utility license fees revenue also fill this pot of money. According to PBOT analysts, the current GTR total is $102.8 million. READ FULL ARTICLE