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Lincoln Council approves transportation spending plan

County agency touring cities
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Celia McAdam, the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) executive director, visited Lincoln Tuesday night as part of a whirlwind tour of the county.

McAdam is spreading the word about the spending plan for a proposed county-wide, half-cent sales tax increase that would fund transportation projects. And she is also seeking approval of the proposed spending plan from the six cities in Placer County.

On Tuesday, the Lincoln City Council unanimously approved the spending plan for the proposed half-cent sales tax increase that is expected to be on the November ballot.  If passed, the city of Lincoln is expected to receive $1.86 million annually for local roads and other transportation improvements.

Lincoln Councilman Stan Nader, a Placer County Transportation Planning Agency board member, said Placer County is at a “competitive disadvantage” when it comes to transportation funding.

“This would allow us to take care of what we have and prepare for the future,” Nader said. “And there will be transparency and oversight.”

Lincoln Councilman Gabriel Hydrick, frequently a critic of government spending, also endorsed the spending plan.

“This is the way your taxes are supposed to work, at the local level,” Hydrick said. “I support this plan. It’s a good plan and it’s the right plan.”

Lincoln Mayor Spencer Short praised McAdam for her work and leadership.

“Celia has always been an advocate of local spending,” Short said. “This expenditure plan is a reasonable self-help mechanism. Through this, we will achieve prosperity.”

Doyle Radford, of Laborers Local No. 185, said approval of the proposed half-cent sales tax increase would create local jobs.

“I’ve seen Lincoln grow in leaps and bounds,” Radford said. “We need this plan for the future and to keep Placer County a great county.”

Tom Cosgrove, executive director of the Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce, spoke in favor of the spending plan as a 29-year Lincoln resident.

“Three-quarters of our roads are two-thirds through of the way through their lifetime,” Cosgrove said. “We have to prepare. I believe this is well worth it.”

Clifton Taylor, vice-president of Richland Communities for the Sacramento region and secretary of the Keep Placer Moving Committee, said the proposed sales tax increase would be a direct benefit to Lincoln.

“This is an opportunity to improve the Lincoln residents’ quality of life and stoke the economic engines,” Taylor said. “We are committed to what this program will bring to the region. This will set a new course for our future.”

Bruce Castle, a Lincoln Hills resident and avid bicyclist, said he supports the plan.

“I am very familiar with the roads and the conditions of the roads; I know where the potholes are,” Castle said. “I support 4.75 percent of the funds going to pedestrian and bicycle improvements.”

McAdam said the sales tax increase, if approved, would cost the average household between $61 and $63 per year and would end in 30 years. McAdam will next present the spending plan to the Roseville City Council on June 1 and will present the plan to the Placer County Board of Supervisors on June 21. If approved by the local jurisdictions, McAdam will bring the plan back to the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency board on June 22 and back to the county board of supervisors on July 12 for approval of a ballot measure.

According to the five-year expenditure plan: highway projects would receive 44.75 percent of the money; local street maintenance and improvements would receive 30 percent; transit expansion would receive 11.875 percent; bicycle and pedestrian improvements 4.75 percent; competitive funding for future needs 4.375 percent; Tahoe projects three percent and one percent would go to transparency, accountability and administration.

Highway improvements would include the I-80/Highway 65 interchange and widening Highway 65. A portion of the money would also be used to build the so-called Placer Parkway, which would connect Highway 65 to SR 70/99.