Enterprise Consulting Engineer Glenn Morgan on Tuesday asked the Enterprise City Council to approve a ‘transportation plan’ showing how funds will be used from the upcoming gas tax increase.
The first wave of the tax -- a six-cent increase -- goes into effect Sept. 1. Over the following two years, there will be two separate two-cent increases bringing the full tax to 10 cent per gallon on Oct. 1, 2021.
Per the language of the Rebuild Alabama Act, 66% percent of generated revenues go to state projects, while 25% percent goes to counties and 8% to municipalities.
“Part of the gas tax bill that was passed had a provision in it that the municipality has to pass an annual transportation plan,” Morgan said at the council’s work session on Tuesday. “It was kind of stuffed in the back of the bill. There’s not a lot of detail in that bill as to what necessarily needs to be in there.”
According to Morgan, several municipalities have gotten information the Alabama League of Municipalities to establish a “basic template.”
“Basically, it says the governing body has to estimate what the additional gas tax would be for the coming fiscal year, and then designate where they intend for that money to be spent on projects,” he said. “Instead of listing specific streets, this plan basically just says that any money that’s received will be toward completing what was the (fiscal year 2019) phase one street resurfacing list, which you have all seen and approved.”
Those streets approved for the resurfacing efforts last year mostly coincide with a water main replacement project that is currently underway.
After Enterprise Mayor Bill Cooper expressed his support for approving the transportation plan, Councilman Eugene Goolsby inquired about the status of the resurfacing.
“The working Water (Works) Board department list that we’re (following) in replacing water mains right now -- the contractor is behind schedule,” Morgan said. “He’s only about 50% done with the work. Doing very good work and there’s not been any issues, he’s just behind. The phase one resurfacing basically is the streets that the contractor is doing water in, (so) it has delayed that. Right now, I’m just kind of holding those plans until we get a little further along on the water replacement project.”
Councilman Turner Townsend asked about the anticipated completion date.
“At one time I was thinking maybe November, could be December,” according to Morgan. “We’re pushing the contractor as much as possible. He’s only working one crew, but he’s doing very good work. We haven’t had any issues with the project short of him bringing in another crew, which we haven’t forced him to do yet, but he understands he’s behind schedule so that’s why I’m thinking toward the end of the year. It could be the first of the year before (the resurfacing) actually starts.”
At the council meeting, Morgan added that the bill also requires the city report back in Jan. 2021 to show how money was spent during the year.
The council unanimously approved the transportation plan.