How Should Berkeley Spend $30 Million for Streets and Watershed Improvements?
Members of the Berkeley community will be able to comment and ask questions about how the $30 million raised by the Measure M bonds should be spent as part of a public planning process. Measure M, “Streets and Watershed Bonds”, was approved by 73% of voters in November 2012. The process will include public meetings on May 2, June 8 and July 18, 2013.
Berkeley’s streets and related watershed systems need extensive work, so the $30 million will speed up the rate of capital improvements, but will not cover all needed work. The paving work will include “green “environmental infrastructure, where possible.
The Berkeley Public Works Commission leads the public process to develop the Measure M Expenditure Plan that will be presented to the City Council in fall 2013. The Public Works Commission is working with the Community Environmental Advisory Commission, the Transportation Commission, and other commissions and city staff. Representatives of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville are working closely with the commissions to ensure that community members are able to participate in developing the plan. The League strongly supported Measure M during the election.
“We want to be sure that the public process is open and that everyone who may be affected by these decisions—the stakeholders—will have a real chance to participate. Their views will be taken very seriously,” said League President Sherry Smith.
The first of three community meetings will be held Thursday, May 2, 5:30 pm at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. Commissioners will explain and answer questions about the planning process, the schedule, and the ways the public can contribute their views. City staff will provide technical background on street paving, watershed management, and transportation programs.
On Saturday, June 8, starting at 10am, at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis St., several possible plans, or “scenarios,” for street and related watershed investments will be presented for public comment. The “preferred scenario” or final plan will be presented for public discussion at 5:30 pm on Thursday, July 18, at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis St. Community members will also be able to comment in writing and online during the coming months. The public may send comments to PWEngineering @cityofberkeley.info.
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