AUGUSTA — City residents in Tuesday’s election voted to borrow just under $1.6 million for street and sidewalk improvements.

A proposed $1,567,000 bond was approved by voters, 5,227-2,153, in unofficial results released Wednesday morning.

Streets that are scheduled to get major work with the money include Commercial Street, where a planned reconstruction project will get $300,000 from the bond.

That project will use that $300,000 to create wider sidewalks and new, more decorative streetlights so the street fits in better aesthetically with the rest of the adjacent downtown area and be more welcoming. It will also use money approved for the project previously, which wasn’t spent because officials decided to hold on to those funds and expand the scope of the project. The work originally was planned to be a simple repaving project, but city officials later decided to turn it into a full reconstruction that will cost about $800,000 in total, according to Ralph St. Pierre, finance director and assistant city manager.

The project calls for rebuilding Commercial Street and includes the Greater Augusta Utility District installing new water, sewer and stormwater piping underground. That portion of the project will be funded by the utility district, not the city bond.

The referendum question passed easily, by roughly a 2-to-1 margin, in all four of the city’s wards.

Paying back the $1,567,000 bond approved by voters Tuesday is not expected to require an increase in property taxes.

That’s because city officials plan to pay back the bond with revenue collected in a tax increment financing account made up of money collected on taxes paid by natural gas companies for their gas lines in Augusta.

The bond also is expected to provide $311,000 to rebuild Columbia Street, immediately south of Capitol Park.

The bond will be used to cover the $250,000 cost for a thin coating of pavement on the roads within the Augusta Business Park and at the nearby Augusta Civic Center, work that Public Works Director Lesley Jones said would preserve those roads and extend their lives.

Murray Street will get $200,000 from the bond, for repaving one portion and rebuilding another section.

In addition, the bond will provide $300,000 for street repaving citywide, $140,000 to grind up and repave Cony Street, $40,000 for the city’s share of engineering work for a state and city jointly funded possible future project improving part of North Belfast Avenue, and $35,000 to reconstruct Cushnoc Drive.

The bond does not include any funding for the proposed replacement of the police station. However, another city bond, $750,000 in borrowing approved by councilors that did not require voter approval, does include funding to begin that process.

The two bonds are expected to cost about $680,000 in interest, at a projected rate of 3.04 percent over up to 20 years.

Only one candidate submitted nomination papers in each municipal race — for mayor and all available City Council and Board of Education posts — so all local races on the ballot were uncontested.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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