After construction, those who used the streets regularly wanted their streets to have the same design as on Lincoln street, for their neighborhood a few blocks east, on the South Hill. The residents on Lincoln Street had volunteered to tax themselves to make this SURGE project possible, and other residents wanted to as well.
The City felt that this project was too expensive as it were, and could not muster the funding or grants for an extension of the SURGE system. City official hopefuls, whose major campaign hold is in reducing spending, are using this system’s short-term cost against the entire program. The long-term gains, however, are that residents are involving themselves in local government, they’re offering to tax themselves to make public improvements happen, the residents on Lincoln aren’t seeing their basements flood as much or as often, and they’re organizing themselves to create awareness and excitement among their neighborhood.
Would you ask your city to tax you for a public works project if you had a say in what its design, use, or goals were? Why or why not?
Credits: Image and data linked to sources.