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Pima County “PAYGO” program has new criteria

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PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. - A new program to repair unincorporated county roads is moving along.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors approved the "PAYGO" policy.

This policy funds infrastructure projects including transportation projects, using existing revenue.

"So the very first year the amount of money we have set aside will not be enough to repair all the road. So we need some criteria to help identify what needs to be done first," said Ana Olivares, Pima County Department of Transportation director.

To help with that, the county conducted a public survey.

"What is the most important criteria to the public and they came back overwhelmingly do the worst roads first," said Olivares.

They use a scale zero to 100. Zero being the worst and 100, the best.

"We are currently averaging 42 which is pretty low," said Olivares. "At the end of 10 years, it will be 80."

To keep that average, maintenance is key.

"Going to repair them and not go back into the situation we were in before."

The good news is, improved roads and more good news, Pima County tax payers will not be affected.

"Instead of bonding for an infrastructure project or doing sales tax or any other funding source, it is to accumulate money," said Olivares. "Some of it is already existing and the rest will come from the county as a whole. Their debt is decreasing and the payment for that debt and all that money will be deferred to a pay as you go plan."

The county has not announced what roads will be fixed, because a list is being put together in the next couple months.

After that, packages will be advertised to bidders.

July 1 is the official start to fiscal year 2021 and that's when the "pay as you go" program begins.

Allie Potter

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