Renewal of street repair and maintenance millage on March 25 ballot

Jefferson Parish Municipal Primary Election March 25th

A renewal of a street repair and maintenance property tax millage for the city of Kenner will be on the ballot for the Saturday, March 25, 2017 election. The millage generates about $2.7 million a year for the city for roads. Approximately $900,000 of that annually funds the Roads and Drainage Division of Kenner’s Public Works Department.

“About 52 percent of the total budget for yearly street repairs and maintenance in Kenner comes from this millage that is up for renewal on March 25,” Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn said, who added, “There is no other source the city has to replace the millage money.”

The balance of the money generated by the millage has been used as an annual payment to Jefferson Parish for building major streets in the city of Kenner such as Vintage and Joe Yenni boulevards and West Napoleon and West Metairie avenues. That debt will be paid off this year and in future years the money can be used to pay for additional street maintenance and repairs, as well as streets projects.

“We have committed to paying for a technical analysis of the major and local streets in the city. We want to get a list of necessary projects from an expert and make sure it covers needs throughout the city,” said Zahn. “If this millage is renewed, we would not authorize any street projects unless they were included on the list and were approved by the Kenner City Council.” “Keeping our city streets in good condition is an ongoing and costly process. Roads in our area take a beating,” Zahn said.

March 25th Jefferson Parish Ballot

“The fact that we are at or below sea level means we inevitably deal with subsidence, leading to crackling and buckling roads. When you can’t afford to catch the problems early on, it only means the problems are going to become more serious and more expensive to fix. The technical analysis will help detect problems before they become more serious and prioritize the work.”

The 5.59 mill property tax renewal is for 10 years. A property owner in Kenner with a house assessed at $200,000 has been paying less than $68 a year. A house valued at $250,000 costs less than $98 a year in property taxes for the homeowner. With the millage renewal property owners would continue to pay at the same rate. “Remember that these are the yearly tax bills property owners are now paying and have been paying for years to fund street repair and maintenance,” said Zahn.

“If this millage is not renewed, we would struggle to find a source of money to handle even the most serious repair and maintenance issues. Over time, that would have a cumulative detrimental impact on the conditions of the roads throughout the city of Kenner.”

Reprinted with permission from the Kenner Star
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