Measure R

July 29, 2008 8:55:44 PM PDT
With all the bad economic news these days, leaders in the South Valley got some welcome news about the county's finances. Tulare County now has millions more dollars to make traveling easier in the South Valley.Linda Vista Avenue in Porterville is riddled with potholes. It's one road Tulare County Supervisor Mike Ennis hopes gets fixed with $4.7 million in surplus funds unexpectedly received from Measure R. Measure R is a half-cent sales tax approved by voters to improve roads and transit in Tulare County.

Mike Ennis says, "We were really surprised being the economy is down so much that it is. It came from money we didn't project and we're so thankful for it. The county is getting over $600,000."

The city of Porterville got more than $200,000 from the millions in surplus money. Ennis' list of road repairs includes North Grand Avenue in Porterville and Eric Richardson who lives on that road says sidewalks and new pavement are long overdue.

Eric Richardson says, "If you drive anywhere up and down this street you're going to see some time of ripples or you're going to need to slow down."

The extra money for road repairs is the result of higher tax revenue than the county expected. Visalia City Manager Steve Solomon says the money will go farther in today's tough economy. Steve Solomon says, "We're in a very good construction environment right now. Bids are coming in lower. In some cases, like in the county, they opened up a project where their bids came in 35% less than the engineer's estimate."

Visalia will et an extra $400,000 to fix roads and improve transit. One big project the city of Visalia hopes to get done is on Shirk Avenue between Highway 198 and Goshen Avenue. Measure R will help fund the $3.1 million dollar project to widen Shirk Avenue and improve the design of the road. Visalia officials also want to extend Ferguson Avenue near North Mooney Boulevard.

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