Voters to Decide Sales Tax Initiative Designated for Infrastructure and Brick Street Repair

July 11, 2022

Fourteen blocks of brick streets have been designated for the first phase of a restoration project in Baldwin City.

UPDATE, NOV 4, 22: Click HERE

At the May 5th, 2022, Council Meeting, the City Council unanimously approved Phase I of a brick street restoration plan presented by Public Works Director Rob Culley. The plan designates fourteen blocks of brick streets deemed most important to preserve the character of the downtown area and the Baker University campus.

Culley notes that it might be possible to fund up to 70% of the construction cost through grants, from discussions he has had with Jason Hoskins of BG Consultants. Cost calculations for various methods of brick street replacement or rehab are available here.

The City Council voted unanimously on June 21st, 2022, to send a sales tax initiative to a public vote, designating a 0.5% sales tax increase within the city limits as funding to work on brick street restoration. Citizens will see the sales tax question on General Election ballots November 8th, 2022. Click here to see the full legal public notice, with the exact language that will be on the ballots.

In council discussions over prior months, a consensus was reached regarding which blocks to focus on first. Other matters discussed include how to handle any brick streets that are not included in the initial restoration phase. Council and staff agreed that any full-scale restoration of residential streets will require community engagement and dialogue with residents.

None of the existing brick streets that are not in Phase I are scheduled for replacement or demolition. Temporary asphalt “patches” may be applied to make the streets smoother until a long term plan and funding is identified and implemented for the streets not in Phase I.

The fourteen blocks designated for the original focus include High Street from 5th to 9th, 8th Street from Indiana to Dearborn, Dearborn from 6th to 8th, Grove from 6th to 8th, and 7th Street from High to Grove.