Even with almost $2 million more in the bank, Prince George city council acknowledged it's still not enough to fix the city's roads.
"We're short $3.5 million a year, every year," said Coun. Cameron Stolz.
During the June 11 meeting, council approved moving $1.9 million from reserves into the road rehabilitation fund - a move they called "unprecedented" - to enhance the $3.5 million already collected in the tax levy.
City staff found the money in a pot allocated to cover taxpayers' share of improvements to Fourth Avenue, which Mayor Shari Green said is a project that's grown too big to be dealt with any time soon.
Council also has no legal requirement to pay back money moved from that fund, explained city corporate services director Kathleen Soltis.
The money in the identified Local Improvement (Local Service Area) Reserve is what was collected from property owners by the city after the Third Avenue streetscape improvement was finished.
"This is not a fund we are borrowing against property owners from," Green said. "Money sitting in this reserve is what is left of those monies that have come in since that project was completed."
Council also had the option of enhancing the road budget by $250,000, but they weren't willing to take the money from a reserve designated for constructing a picnic shelter and two washrooms in Fort George Park.
Soltis and city operations superintendent Bill Gaal stressed in a report to council that this type of funding is not a way to finance the road paving projects for the future.
"This is a short-term, emergency situation," said Green. "Is this the most sustainable thing to do? No. Is this wise financial planning? No. But you know what? The community doesn't care. Fix the roads. That's the answer, that's all they are saying."
Green also indicated that the road rehabilitation levy may have to increase in the future. "I would expect that comes with some consequences as well," she said.
With the added money, four additional projects can be added to the rehabilitation list. These are (in order of priority): Opsika Boulevard from Range Road to Davis Road; Ospika Boulevard from Davis Road to Tyner Boulevard; Foothills Boulevard from North Nechako Road to Foothills Bridge; and Tabor Boulevard from First to Fifteenth Avenue.