The first of Grover Beach’s failing roads may be repaired as soon as spring, thanks to a $48 million bond measure that narrowly passed in the Nov. 4 election.
Final election tallies—certified as of Nov. 19—show that Grover’s Measure K pulled in 2,337 “yes” votes (68.02 percent of the total), with only 1,099 votes in the “no” camp (31.98 percent). The measure needed a 66.66 supermajority to pass.
There’s still some crucial decision-making to be done before contractors can be hired, though. Namely, the city must decide which roads to fix first.
Mayor-elect John Shoals told New Times that Grover’s residents have been waiting years for the city’s streets to be repaired, so it’s only fair to let them help decide which roads should be the highest priority.
“We want to go out into the community and find out what the community wants to do,” Shoals said. “I know we’re not going to be able to do them all at one time, but we need to have a sound strategy that has community buy-in so we can really make progress on our streets.”
While he wants to get community input for as much of the process as possible, Shoals also said that the most decrepit roads will be the city’s top priority.
“We have several streets that have been on the list to be done for several years, so if I had my way, we will start seeing those streets done as soon as the start of the new year,” Shoals said. “I don’t want to wait for those long, protracted meetings. We want to go in with a strategy, but we have streets that we have already identified that need to be done—whether that’s with bond money or with other money.”
Shoals was quick to clarify that it won’t actually be possible to use bond money to fix roads that soon; he said that residents will have to wait until mid-2015 to start seeing their bond dollars at work. However, Shoals plans to use general funds to get the ball rolling on the most critical streets as soon as possible.
City Manager Bob Perrault echoed Shoals’ sentiments, saying that the bond project will have to go through a lot of planning and quite a few City Council meetings before it can be implemented. But Perrault had a slightly more optimistic spring goal in mind for the bond-funded roads.
Perrault said that, if all goes according to plan, he expects bring the project to market in March 2015. Soon after that, construction can start.