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City of Tyler moves Cumberland Road extension to top of list

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 4:27pm

During their regularly scheduled meeting held on July 25, the Tyler City Council approved the 2012-2013 Half Cent Work Program, which prioritizes projects that will be funded by Half Cent Sales Tax revenue for the year. A 60-day review period for public input began today with the Council action.

Topping the list of 222 projects is the extension of Cumberland Road from Old Jacksonville Road to Broadway Avenue. This project will include a four lane divided road with landscaped raised medians, a bridge over West Mud Creek and a hike and bike trail to connect north to the hike and bike trail along Grande.

“This project will serve as an east‐west connection for the southwest portion of Tyler,” said Half Cent Board Chairperson Ralph Caraway. “This will give citizens better access to schools, retail, parks and new development. It will also improve emergency response times and help ease traffic congestion.”

The City of Tyler utilizes a capital improvement plan (CIP) prioritization tool to rank projects on the Half Cent Program. The tool ensures that projects funded contribute to the consensus goals outlined in the Tyler 21 comprehensive plan.

The prioritization process provides an objective way for the City to compare projects that are competing for the same funding. Weighted criterion that tie directly back to community priorities set through the Tyler 21 planning process are utilized; each project is then scored based upon the degree in which it meets the intent of the principle. The weighted Tyler 21 principles make up 60 percent of the project’s score and include:

• Transportation and Circulation (25 percent),

• Public Safety (25 percent),

• Existing Infrastructure (20 percent)

• Revitalization and Balanced Growth (15 percent), and

• Quality of Life (15 percent).

Additional financial, technical and regulatory criteria make up the remaining 40 percent of the project’s score. These include:

• Regulatory Compliance (35 percent),

• External Funding Available (25 percent),

• Impact on the Overall Budget (20 percent), and

• Timing/Location (20 percent).

The Half Cent Sales Tax provides approximately $15 million per year in funding for capital projects. Each year, projects will be rescored and the list reprioritized to capture the ever-changing needs of the community. A call for new projects is made each year as well.

“Because of our objective ranking process, each year the plan ensures that we consider all parts and needs of the City,” added Caraway. “I think that we have a system in place that is flexible, transparent and easy to understand for the citizens and the Half Cent Board.”

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