Biddeford voters are being asked to approve two bonds totally $17.5 million to repair roads and city buildings and to separate sewer and stormwater overflows.

Question 1 on the ballot asks voters to approve a $10 million general obligation bond to complete mandatory separation of the city’s storm and sanitary sewer systems. The work is required by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and is outlined in a work agreement between the city and DEP. The city faces fines and penalties if the work is not done, according to city officials.

Biddeford’s original sewer system was a one-pipe system that carried stormwater and household wastewater through the same pipes. During heavy rain, the pipe cannot handle the high volume of water and untreated wastewater overflows into the Saco River and other bodies of water.

Question 2 on the ballot asks voters to approve a $7.5 million bond to fund improvements to roads, sidewalks and drainage systems. Improvements to City Hall and other city buildings would be funded with $3.75 million of that total amount. The City Council would make the final determination on which projects to do with the money.

At least half of the bond money would be used to addressing the paving needs of residential streets.

According to StreetScan, a software tool used to assess the condition of roads and sidewalks, it would take $33 million to update all of Biddeford’s roads and $12 million to address sidewalks.

The city has launched a “Worst Road in Biddeford” contest on the city website to allow residents to nominate the worst roads.

“We are very aware that even if this bond passes, we still won’t be able to immediately fix every street in the community that needs attention,” Mayor Alan Casavant said. “This contest is a great way to hear directly from our residents about the problems they would most like to see fixed with the limited funding we would have available.”

If both bonds are approved, about $109 of the median single-family homeowner’s annual tax payment will fund the project annually over the 20-year life of the bonds. The median single-family home in Biddeford is valued at $227,100.

Comments are not available on this story.