Election officials are set to conduct a recount for Riverside’s proposed 8-mill road improvements levy.
The levy, Issue 24, failed by 83 votes – 3,448 for the levy to 3,531 against the levy according to Jan Kelly, the Director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Kelly says with the margin at just one percent, the vote total triggered an automatic recount.
It will be held Tuesday, December 4th at 8:15 a.m. at the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
City leaders have said they won’t be able to do nearly as many road projects if the levy fails.
Heading into the election, many voters for the levy said they believe it would have been worth the cost, but those against the levy argued 8 mills was too high.
Many people in Riverside agree that the roads are in need of repair.
“I think we need more of a focus on the roads,” said Mike Neely.
“You don’t always see those holes or those problems in the road until you literally drive through them,” said Ernie Eldridge, another Riverside resident.
The proposed 8-mill levy for road improvements would have generated $1.9 million annually, according to the city.
“Airway Road fell apart on us and we had to do it,” said Mayor William Flaute. “That’s $700,000 that we had to put into that road.”
Council members had discussed asking for a lower increase, but 8 mills is the amount the city needs to complete all of the necessary repairs, Flaute said.
“We decided we had to go for what we needed because otherwise we have to come back again in a couple years, and we didn’t want to do that,” he said.
If the levy fails after the recount, the city will consider other ways to get the funding, including putting another levy on the ballot, Flaute said.
Falute said one idea he has in mind is a temporary 8-mill levy instead of a continuous one.
Residents who spoke with 2 NEWS said one way or another, they want to see the roads fixed.
“It’s important we be able to get around and go to work and do whatever we need to do,” said Etta Price.
The city already invests $350,000 a year in road repairs, Carpenter said, so crews will still be able to complete some projects if the levy fails.