1/4-cent Capital Improvements Program
In April 2016, Springfield voters will be asked to approve the renewal of an 1/4-cent sales tax (with no tax increase) for another round of high-priority transportation improvement projects in Springfield. The 1/4-cent capital improvement projects sales tax has a three-year sunset, was first approved in 1989 and was renewed in 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.
The current 1/4-cent capital improvement sales tax, renewed by Springfield voters for the eighth time in 2013, is estimated to generate approximately $30 million, which is being invested in high-priority projects such as intersection improvements, school sidewalks and traffic signals.
When possible, funding is leveraged with other partners including county, state, federal, and developer funding to increase the investment return to the citizens of Springfield.
Projects that have been completed with 1/4-cent funds include:
- Intersection / Interchange Improvements:
- I-44 and Kansas Expressway
- James River Freeway at National Avenue
- James River Freeway at Campbell Avenue
- National Avenue at Kearney Street
- Widening of U.S. Route 65 to 6 lanes, in 2 phases, from Chestnut Expressway to Sunshine Street, and from Sunshine to Battlefield Road.
- Turn lane improvements for safety and capacity at various locations, such as Glenstone at Battlefield and Chestnut Expressway at Sherman Avenue.
- Bridge and pavement preservation, including bridge rehabilitation on Kansas Expressway viaduct.
- Design priority intermodal connectivity improvements to enhance pedestrian, bicycle, and transit mobility.
- Construct pedestrian connections to transit stops along Glenstone Avenue.
- Enhancements to the Ozarks Traffic Intelligent Transportation System including variable message signs.
- Cost-share projects for economic development working with MoDOT, Greene County and private developers
These strategies were endorsed by the City Council and are the underlying philosophy of the Capital Improvements Program.
- The City of Springfield's primary responsibility is the protection of life, health, and public safety. Projects which address serious health and safety needs should receive the highest rating.
- Improving the city's existing infrastructure also rates high. Projects which improve existing streets, parks, etc. to adopted standards; projects which improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the city's basic service systems; and projects which enhance city government's ability to provide basic services should receive the second highest rating. The City Council states as a matter of policy that, all other considerations being equal, improvement of existing infrastructure should rate higher than construction of new infrastructure improvements.
- Construction of new infrastructure improvements (new streets, new parks, greenways, etc.) is necessary to keep up with the community's growth.
In addition to these three strategies, preserving and enhancing the quality of life for Springfield citizens is also important. Many things make up "quality of life", including a clean environment, pleasant neighborhoods, diverse housing and job opportunities, and recreational and cultural opportunities. Where possible, the capital improvement projects which are preferred are those which have a long useful life, benefit the city as a whole, benefit the city's low and moderate income citizens, and either protect or have no adverse impact on the environment.
Services & Facilities Provided at the Urban Level
Quality of life issues do not stop at the city boundaries. Development outside the city is also occurring at urban densities. People living in these areas expect services and public facilities at urban levels, and the density of development in these areas requires facilities, such as streets, built to urban standards.
Services and facilities provided by Greene County and by special districts are generally not provided to urban standards because they were built for the primarily rural population of the county. The city is in the best position to provide services and facilities appropriate for the urban population, but provision of these facilities must be coordinated between the city and the county. Specifically, street projects that occur near the city limits should be coordinated between the city and the county.