Documents/RRSD/8: Rebuilding City Infrastructure

Commitment 8: Rebuilding City Infrastructure

After years of neglecting maintenance of our streets, sidewalks and public facilities, city government must commit dedicated financing for and improved management of city infrastructure.

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Over the years as the City of San Diego’s financial problems have worsened, the city has neglected to properly maintain its assets and neighborhood infrastructure, resulting in a deferred maintenance backlog. The impact to our quality of life has been significant. In a 2007 survey, only 38% of the City of San Diego roads were found to be in an “acceptable” condition. Underfunding maintenance today only shifts (and increases) costs to taxpayers in the future. Deferring maintenance on neighborhood infrastructure creates future liabilities and costs when the backlog is finally confronted from a budgetary standpoint. The growth in cost occurs because of accelerated asset deterioration resulting from a lack of maintenance. In turn, this can cause shorter asset lifecycles and the need for total replacement or capital repair. The city’s infrastructure liability should be treated as seriously as our pension liability – with a rigorous financial assessment and monitoring. More importantly, the City must begin to shift its budget resources from labor costs back to infrastructure investments.