City seeks public feedback on transportation utility
For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The city of Wisconsin Rapids is offering opportunities for the public to weigh in on the proposed transportation utility, which would replace special assessments.
Property owners can provide feedback and ask questions about the transportation utility using any of the below methods: Submit feedback online at: www.wirapids.org/transportation-utility; call, email or schedule an appointment to meet with Wisconsin Rapids City Engineer Joe Eichsteadt at 715-421-8251 or [email protected] or Mayor Shane Blaser at 715-421-8216 or [email protected]; or call, email or schedule an appointment to meet with you alderperson using their contact information available at the clerk’s office at 715-421-8200 or at www.wirapids.org/common-council.
The Wisconsin Rapids Public Works Committee is expected to consider the transportation utility ordinance at their March meeting, and the city council is expected to consider it at their March and April meetings.
“The transportation utility is a mechanism to raise revenue, similar to other utilities, and is based on a customer’s relative use of the road system (or the property’s “trip generation”). Trip generation for each property within the City is determined using the Institute of Transportation Engineers’ Trip Generation Manual. The trip generation manual is derived from hundreds or thousands of studies across the nation for many different land uses. The data is analyzed and characterized in a way that can be compared across similar land uses with similar characteristics,” a city release stated.
“City council approved a $500,000 target revenue for the transportation utility, which would replace revenues from special assessments at $350,000 and increase road surfacing efforts at $150,000.
“The target utility revenue of $500,000 is divided by the annual trips generated within the city to determine a cost per trip. The cost per trip is applied to the trips generated at each property within the city.
“Single Family Residential – $20/year per dwelling unit; Duplex and triplexes – $17/year per dwelling unit; Multi-family with four or more units — $16/year per dwelling unit.
“Commercial, institutional, industrial properties generate trips based on the type of business/use and certain characteristics, such as square foot of floor space, so each business has a unique charge.
“There have been recent and growing concerns about special assessments regarding assessment procedures and the amount of assessments to property owners. In 2020, city council instructed staff to perform a review of the special assessment process and identify available funding options as a substitute for special assessments. The city has analyzed public survey data, and the pros and cons for several special assessment alternatives to select the transportation utility model as the most equitable alternative for further exploration.”
For more information, visit www.wirapids.org/transportation-utility.