Mr. Becker’s Aug. 31 letter said “the Duportail Bridge needs to be delayed to find a different source of funding.” Apparently he hasn’t bothered to learn the present sources.
The total budget is $37.5 million, of which about $3.5 million ($1.9 million federal and $1.6 million city) was spent or committed for planning, preliminary design, environmental assessments and right-of-way. Of the $37.5 million, there is roughly $2.7 million federal, $31.5 million state ($20 million from the 2015 gas tax increase) and only $1.7 million from the license tab fee.
Less than 5 percent of the total project cost comes from the tab fee. Exactly what other fund sources would Mr. Becker seek? It would be irresponsible for any city council to abort this project, reject moneys already committed and start all over again.
The $1.7 million is just about a quarter of the expected tab fee revenue, most of which goes to street maintenance and repaving. It’s not all about the bridge.
I regret the city hasn’t presented this information clearly on its website, and the Herald hasn’t obtained and published accurate information to inform the public properly on an important issue in this local election.
John Fox, Richland
Editor’s note: The Herald first reported on the funding for the Duportail Bridge on Feb. 11, 2017. An editorial and several other stories on funding for the bridge have run since. The City of Richland also has a breakdown of the funding at http://bit.ly/2vM9ZNW.