Salinas looks to proposed sales tax for more infrastructure repairs

SALINAS, Calif. - Almost two thousand accidents waiting to happen.  That's because of broken and cracked sidewalks in Salinas.  One of them reportedly sent a local woman to the hospital.  It's been a costly problem in Salinas for years.  The question now, could the city's proposed one cent sales tax patch up the problem?

It's still going to take a while because there's a long list of old sidewalks in need of repair.  On Friday, we spoke with one woman recovering after a trip on a broken sidewalk last week. 

South Salinas resident Nancy Mikita said she knows the city is financially strapped, but thinks it's a problem needing attention right away.

"I just stubbed my toe on this little rise in the sidewalk, went down like a log," said Mikita.

Mikita, an avid walker, won't walk past the end of her driveway after a tripping on a broken sidewalk.  Now her broken arm is in a sling, her lip is swollen from falling face first.

"I take this walk every morning and I just got unlucky this particular time and dripped blood down the sidewalk," Mikita said.

"The issues of our sidewalks run deep within the city and you know its one of those things that we allot a certain amount of money per year to fixing the sidewalks. but it doesn't always solve the problem," said Salinas councilmember Kimbley Craig.

With only $200,000 budgeted for repairs, the city is a long way away from fixing almost two thousand requests.  This week the city decided to put a general fund one cent sales tax on the November ballot.  It's hoping some of that money will go toward infrastructure, if passed by voters.

"Primary function and the resounding response from residents is public safety.  But I would say that it's a long list and it is not an overnight fix," Craig said.

Nancy's arm isn't an overnight fix either.  She'll go to physical therapy and hopes to use her dominant arm soon.  But she knows she's not alone.

"I was telling the nurse what happened and she said well, you must live in South Salinas and I thought well she must have heard of some other stories like this," Mikita said.

The city has an incentive program for homeowners called the 50/50.  If you pay half, they'll pay the other and bump you up the wait list for faster repair.

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