Streets and Roads

Factual Summary

Roadway Improvement Proposal

  • The current value of the Town of Eaton’s 32 miles of roadways is estimated to be more than $69.5 million.
  • The Eaton Town Board is placing a 1% sales tax proposal on the November 2023 ballot to protect and improve the Town’s roadways.
  • The sales tax would be used to:
    • Restore roadways that are in poor, marginal, or fair condition, and then maintain them.
    • Properly maintain roadways that are already in good, very good, or excellent condition.

A Number of Eaton Roadways are in Need of Major Rehabilitation

Following are some of the roadway rehabilitation projects being considered if the proposed sales tax is approved and a portion of the revenues are used to pursue bond financing:

  • 10th Street rehabilitation, from Hwy 85 to WCR 39
  • First Street rehabilitation, from Park Avenue to Juniper Avenue
  • Christensen Avenue (Town portions) rehabilitation, from cemetery to country club
  • Cheyenne Avenue rehabilitation, from Collins Street South to Town boundary

Widening of Collins Street, including the addition of turn lanes and bike lanes, is another larger project being considered.

  • Although pavement deterioration begins at a slow rate, it picks up dramatically if preventative maintenance is not provided early and efficiently. This is an important reason why the Town Board seeks to invest more in our community’s roadways.
  • Every $1 invested now in preventative maintenance saves $4 to $10 in rehabilitation/reconstruction costs later.
  • Even roadways in good to excellent condition, which represent about 41% of the Town’s roadways, will benefit. These roadways, like Benjamin Drive between Fall Line Road and Rock Road (pictured above), will continue to be monitored and maintained through various sealing strategies to slow crack growth.
  • Roadway improvements would provide many anticipated benefits:
    • Protecting property values
    • Reducing roadway repair costs
    • Extending the useful life of the Town’s roadways
    • Decreasing wear and tear on residents’ vehicles
    • Improving driver and pedestrian safety

Arguments in Favor of the Sales Tax Proposal

  • It makes sense to use a sales tax—instead of a property tax—to protect and improve Eaton’s roadways. Property owners will not get stuck with 100% of the bill.
  • Almost 59% of Eaton’s streets are in marginal to fair condition. They should be repaired now before they get worse.
  • The condition of our streets directly impacts property values. This is a fair and reasonable investment.

Arguments Against the Sales Tax Proposal

  • If the sales tax goes up, residents may do their shopping and dining outside of Eaton.
  • Having better roads might encourage further unwanted development.
  • The Town’s funds should be spent elsewhere.

The Town of Eaton is taking a strategic approach to improving our road conditions and improving our transportation systems. A modest 1% sales tax could provide funding to repair and reconstruct roads to extend the lifespan of roadways, minimize the cost for the future, and prioritize projects to increase pedestrian safety.

Eaton's current pavement conditions:

About 59% of the Town of Eaton’s roadways are in fair, marginal, or poor condition.