Claremont City Council rejects bond for paving 

By PATRICK O’GRADY

Valley News Correspondent

Published: 07-03-2023 9:42 AM

CLAREMONT — The City Council unanimously approved a $19.5 million budget for the fiscal year beginning Saturday after adding $250,000 to the line item for paving.

The additional paving money came after the council rejected a proposed 10-year bond for $2.18 million for paving projects over the next three years.

“I hate using bonding capacity in this manner,” Councilor Nick Koloski said before the 5-4 vote Wednesday to cut the bond and reduce the capital budget to $657,000, which was approved.

City Manager Yoshi Manale said the bond would allow the city to pave side streets that have not been touched in 30 to 40 years.

“The bond will help the city get back on track,” Manale said, adding that with a bond retiring, the new payments would not add to the tax rate.

But like last year, a majority of the council felt bonding for the annual paving expense would leave the city with less money to pave when the bond payments begin without increasing taxes. The paving line item in the approved budget is $750,000.

The budget represents an increase of about 1.7% from this year.

With the added money for paving, the projected tax increase went from 16 cents to 56 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, which would add $112 to a property assessed at $200,000. The actual municipal tax rate will likely decrease when it is set later this year because there is a citywide property revaluation now underway and the new grand list, which is the total assessed value of property in the city, is expected to show a dramatic increase.

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According to Manale’s budget presentation, the grand list could rise more than $330 million to more than $1 billion. Manale said the current assessment ratio, which measures assessed value against market value, is 56%.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.