In the next few months, city representatives will start taking steps to determine how to allocate $30 million from Measure M, which voters approved in November to improve Berkeley’s streets and watershed.
The first session will take place May 2 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. Commissioners will explain and answer questions about the planning process, the schedule, and the ways the public can contribute their views. City staff will provide technical background on street paving, watershed management and transportation programs.
Subsequent meetings are set for Saturday, June 8, at 10 a.m. and Thursday, July 18, at 5:30 p.m.; both are scheduled to take place at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis St. (See a flyer about the meetings here.)
Measure M, to pay for bonds related to streets and watersheds, was approved by 73% of voters in November 2012.
The League of Women Voters noted recently: “Berkeley’s streets and related watershed systems need extensive work, so the $30 million will speed up the rate of capital improvements, but will not cover all needed work. The paving work will include ‘green’ environmental infrastructure, where possible.”
The city’s Public Works Commission will spearhead the public process to develop the spending plan that will be presented to the City Council in the fall. The commission is working with the Community Environmental Advisory Commission, the Transportation Commission, and other commissions and city staff. Representatives of the League of Women Voters of Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville will also work closely with commissions “to ensure that community members are able to participate in developing the plan. The League strongly supported Measure M during the election.”
Said League President Sherry Smith in a prepared statement: ”We want to be sure that the public process is open and that everyone who may be affected by these decisions—the stakeholders—will have a real chance to participate. Their views will be taken very seriously.”
Those with questions can email Ray Yep of the Public Works Commission at email@example.com, or Sherry Smith of the League of Women Voters at firstname.lastname@example.org. The public may also send comments to PWEngineering@cityofberkeley.info.
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