The first Measure V annual report titled ‘On the moVe’ was presented to the community on Tuesday night at the Merced Senior Center. The Open House was be hosted by the Merced County Association of Governments (MCAG) in partnership with the Measure V Citizens Oversight Committee.
Measure V is the half cent transportation sales tax that was passed by Merced County voters in November 2016. The 30-year Measure, which commenced in April of 2017, allocates 50 percent of all its revenue to the cities of Merced, Los Banos, Gustine, Atwater, Livingston and Dos Palos, along with the County of Merced, to pay for local transportation projects including roads, bike paths, and sidewalks.
Regional transportation projects located on both the east and west sides of the county receive 44 percent of the funding with 5 percent reserved for public transit purposes. MCAG receives 1 percent of the monies to administer all fiduciary and reporting requirements.
The report indicates that the $20.6 million in audited Measure V revenues were dispersed according to the formula in the 2016 Transportation Expenditure Plan passed by the voters. There was $3 million in audited expenditures during the same time period which was between April 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, the end of the fiscal year.
“Getting a Measure like this off the ground and operational in the first year is a heavy lift,” said Stacie Dabbs, MCAG Executive Director. “And this report shows that there has been an exceptional effort made by the county, cities, and citizens to deliver these improvements on our local streets and roads in such a short period of time.”
So far, in its second year of existence, Measure V work has included the adoption of a two-year Implementation Plan to spend the $9.1 million set aside for east and west side regional transportation projects, as well as the $1 million for public transit work. The Transit Joint Powers Authority Board initiated The Bus’s free fare program — paid for by Measure V funds — in July 2017. Since then, 166,445 free bus rides have been given to seniors, veterans, and ADA eligible passengers on fixed routes throughout the county. The program has caused ridership on The Bus to increase by seven percent overall.
MCAG is the state-designated Local Transportation Authority for Merced County responsible for the implementation and administration of overseeing Measure V. To keep the community informed about this transformative measure, MCAG features monthly updates in their electronic newsletter which can be found on the MCAG website: mcagov.org. Additional information about Measure V including financial statements and specific project information by jurisdiction can be found in the full 2019 Measure V Annual Report.
Look for more details on the report and the community meeting in next week’s edition.