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City Council Budget Committee Asks Mayor For Guidance On Infrastructure

The San Diego City Council's Budget Committee asked the Mayor's Office today for some direction on how to catch up on a backlog of infrastructure improvements pegged at $840 million.

Committee members, who asked for a report by January, want to know how the city will implement seven recommendations from its independent budget analyst regarding major construction and street projects, including whether staffing levels will be adequate to handle increased spending.

Todd Gloria, the committee chairman, said some of the projects in the backlog have been on the books for a decade.

"It took us years to get into this position, and it will take us years to get out,'' Gloria said. "We have a variety of unmet needs in this city.''

According to the budget analyst, the city is behind on street improvements to the tune of $378 million. However, the city embarked on an extensive road repair program this year, necessitating an updated road-condition assessment.

The budget analyst also said the city was behind on $246 million in storm drains repairs and behind on $216 million worth of building improvements.

The City Administration Building needs about $100 million worth of work, and Parks and Recreation facilities need about $60 million worth of repairs, the budget analyst said.

Mayor Jerry Sanders recently proposed $100 million in bond funding over five years to pay for some of the deferred projects. He said funding for maintenance is needed too.

Separately, the committee heard a report on speeding up capital improvement approvals and permitting, including a request by the Mayor's Office that the City Council consider contracts in groups rather than individually.

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