Jan 24, 2020 2:08 PM

Mayor wants $200M bond issue to repair more Omaha streets

Posted Jan 24, 2020 2:08 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Omaha's mayor wants voters to decide whether they're willing to raise their property taxes to fund a long-term plan for improving city streets - often the objects of residents' wrath and complaints.

Mayor Jean Stothert announced Thursday that she will ask the City Council to put a $200 million bond issue on the May 12 ballot. It would cost owners $35 more a year in property taxes for every $100,000 in valuation.

"We can stop the deterioration of our infrastructure," Stothert said. "But it will take all of us to agree that it's worth the expense."

The city spends $41 million a year on street repairs, the mayor said, but needs to be spending at least $75 million a year. The $200 million in bond funding would allow the city to put $40 million more into street repairs each year for five years.

But that would cover only part of what's needed, and Omaha would need a series of voter-approved bond issues to keep the initiative going, Stothert said.

Councilman Pete Festersen said he thinks the street repairs need to be part of a comprehensive plan that improves public transit and bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

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Jan 24, 2020 2:08 PM
Alaska pot shops to be among 1st in US to allow consumption

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP)-Marijuana shops in Alaska will be among the first nationally where onsite use would be permitted.

Alaska's legal marijuana industry hit the milestone Thursday as regulators approved the first retail stores in the state that will be allowed to have customers smoke or consume marijuana products on site.

Chris Lindsey of the Marijuana Policy Project says that while some cities in other states have approved such actions, these are the first state-issued approvals.

The Marijuana Control Board approved the applications on 3-2 votes.