The Charlotte City Council voted 6-to-1 Monday, April 24 to approve the first reading of resolution 2017-44, which calls for major reconstruction on portions of five city streets over the course of the next five years.

The plan, referred to as Major Street Fund Cash Flow version 3, would accomplish the reconstruction projects without asking voters to approve a millage. Instead, the plan identifies the potential to borrow $800,000 of Owens-Illinois money the city received in 2014 and an additional $400,000 from the city’s Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA). Other sources of revenue include the Eaton County road millage and ACT 51 money from the State of Michigan. The plan calls for nearly $7.5 million in reconstruction and rehabilitation projects.

Council member Yvonne Ridge cast the lone dissenting vote, stating she did not feel borrowing the O-I money and from the LDFA was fiscally responsible. She said she is also concerned with the low balance in the city’s Major Street Fund identified in the plan.

The plan would leave the major street fund with just $76,000 in cash by June of 2020.

Mayor Tim Lewis said he is also concerned with the plan because it does not allow for rehabilitation projects for the first two years. He said, however, that he would support version 3 to keep the planning process moving forward.

Councilman Chris Bahmer, who proposed version 3, said he sees the plan as a very positive first step in addressing city street conditions.

“It accomplishes getting three of the biggest streets we have in the city done within the next three years all while not raising the citizen’s tax burden at all,” Bahmer said. “I think our citizens will be pretty happy to have Lovett, Lincoln and State streets done in the next three years.”

Councilman Brad Johnston said the proposed plan could be a first step in the process.

“I will support this resolution, but I think alone it does very little to address the larger problem of our street rehab program,” Johnston said.

Johnston said the city should continue to look at ways to generate revenue for future projects, and suggested forming a committee to develop a larger-scale project for the street improvement program that could potentially be funded by a millage in the future.

If the council passes the second reading of the resolution at its first meeting in May, the city will plan to reconstruct Lincoln and State Street in 2018; West Lovett Street — from Cochran Avenue to Sheldon Street — in 2019; and West Harris Street in 2022. East Lovett Street — from Cochran Avenue to Washington Street — is already scheduled for reconstruction this summer.