GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - On Wealthy Street and Atlas Avenue SE, Janette Tazzia's lawn-care employees feel eight-inch potholes every day.
"My trucks bottom out every time we go in and out," says Tazzia. "It would be nice if they just came through and re-surfaced it."
The city and of Grand Rapids and its Sustainable Streets Task Force wish it were that easy.
Josh Leffingwell, a member of the task force, says 63% of city streets are in poor condition.
"Our streets are not in good condition, in fact they might be in the worst condition they've ever been," says Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong.
"Heritage Hill, State Street in particular...Michigan Street, too," said Leffingwell. "The asphalt isn't even sticking anymore."
Leffingwell says if something isn't done, 94% of city streets will be in rough shape in the next nine years.
Starting next year, money for streets will no longer come from the city's general fund. The task force is looking for ways to pay for repairs - and how much they will cost. The group has been studying the problem for 18 months now, and is leaning towards this recommendation: A local investment of $22 million each year for the next 15 years.
"[That's] To get our streets in very good condition, not even in good condition, just 70% good or fair," said Leffingwell.
Leffingwell says there's still a chance the state could provide additional funding for road projects.
He says one of the top recommendations right now under the $22 million recommendation is an income tax, because the cost would be shared by residents and employees of the city.
A property tax increase would only make residents pay.
The group's final suggestions will go to the city commission in August. You can read their latest proposal by clicking here.