PLEASANT GROVE – Pleasant Grove city leaders say a citizen’s initiative aimed at funding aging roads could come at the cost of vital services they provide to the public.
Jacob Zonts accuses the city of failing to maintain roads and forcing residents to pick up the tab.
“The problem with that is we’ve already seen our city bill double in the past five years," said Zonts.
He and other concerned citizens launched the Fund Roads First Initiative. If it passes, the city would be required to use $2.625 million from the General Fund to repair roads. That would give them an extra $2.3 million on hand.
“They have $500,000 of new money this year that they could put towards the road, but instead they decided to grow government,” said Zonts.
Eric Jensen, Mayor Pro-Tem of Pleasant Grove says he’s surprised this issue has reached this level.
In response to the citizen’s initiative, the city was tasked with ranking the importance of the services they provide to the public.
Jensen says if roads are funded first, the library, all parks, swimming pool and senior center would be eliminated. People who work for the city would lose their jobs.
“We’re also dealing with committees that our citizens are a part of like our beautification committee, Ms. PG and other services we provide to the community,” said Jensen. That includes city events, Christmas tree lights, city’s orchestra and children’s choir.
“It’s very eye-opening,” said Jensen.
Citizens turned down an offer from the city council to pull the initiative and work together on a viable solution. Meantime, the city is looking at all options.
“We are as a council looking for other solutions like other communities like Provo, Mapleton, Vineyard that have initiated a road fee to supplement their road maintenance program,” said Jensen.
Citizens plan on gathering signatures this Friday. They’ll have to submit 1636 signatures in order for the initiative to be placed on the ballot this November.