Last night DeKalb’s Financial Advisory Committee began the work of figuring out how to pay for the claimed need of an additional $6.6 million per year for street repairs.

Unfortunately, they are still using the same faulty numbers — faulty in the ways I explained here.

If the FAC is working with bad numbers, so is the Chronicle. Here’s what they’re saying today:

This year, the city will use $1 million in TIF funds to pay for street repairs, City Engineer John Laskowski said. TIF districts allow the city to divert property tax money into a special account that is used to rehabilitate blighted areas. Another $400,000 to be spent on street repairs will come from the local gas tax. The city dedicated another $100,000 to pay for sidewalks and alleys.

The Central Area TIF district, which covers downtown DeKalb and Sycamore Road, will get $500,000 in street repairs this year. It expires in 2020. A second TIF district that covers a portion of the city between Lincoln Highway and Taylor Street is responsible for $500,000 and expires in 2018.

Again, as pointed out in the earlier post, the Chronicle is not distinguishing between maintenance/repairs and road construction/re-construction; TIF 2, for example, doesn’t even have the line item for the maintenance portion (and, until last year, the city rarely budgeted for street reconstruction in that fund and never to the tune of half a mil). Also, there’s no mention of the state motor fuel taxes going to roads (Fund 10), just the local taxes.

Now I’m going to show you what’s in the city budget for the current fiscal year (FY2015). The table comes from data found on pp. 144-155 of the PDF file.

Fund (No.)Line Item 8629:
Alleys
Line Item 8632:
Maint/Repair
Line Item 8633:
Reconstruction
Totals
Capital Projects (50)50,000300,0000350,000
Motor Fuel Tax Fund (10)00400,000400,000
TIF 1 (13)00500,000500,000
TIF 2 (14)00500,000500,000
Totals50,000300,0001,400,0001,750,000

There’s also approximately $40,000 tucked into the Public Works budget for streets and alleys.

At any rate, I don’t get it. If you’re talking strictly from a repair/maintenance standpoint there’s a mere $300,000 budgeted for it. If you’re including street reconstruction, you have to include the amount of the Motor Fuel Tax Fund as well.

I’ve got another table for you, coming up sometime later today.