$120M bond for San Diego infrastructure

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – After months of legal delays, a judge today cleared the way for the city of San Diego to issue a $120 million bond to pay for infrastructure projects, the City Attorney’s Office said.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Styn declined to reverse his earlier ruling that dismissed a challenge to the bond issue filed by lawyer Cory Briggs and San Diegans For Open Government.

Briggs contends that any action the city takes to incur indebtedness, including issuing bonds, requires a public vote. A previous lawsuit over how the city handles lease-revenue bonds was resolved in favor of the city.

“As we said before these lawsuits were filed, this sort of financing has been upheld by the Supreme Court and is used by cities throughout California,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. “These lawsuits caused unnecessary delay and expense to taxpayers.”

The city plans to spend the bond revenue on replacing the aging Hillcrest fire station, rebuilding the City Heights fire station, finishing construction of the Skyline Library, building the new Mission Hills/Hillcrest Library, and completing the South Mission Beach Lifeguard Station project.

Other projects set to receive funding are the La Jolla Cove lifeguard station, the San Ysidro Library, the San Carlos Library, the University Village tot lot, Tierrasanta athletic field lighting, upgrades to the San Diego police pistol range and the Mission Beach Boardwalk sea wall, and accessibility projects under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“This court victory now allows $120 million in neighborhood repairs to move forward and removes a legal roadblock to infrastructure funding that will benefit every community in San Diego,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.

Briggs told City News Service he will appeal Judge Styn’s decision.

If the city spends the bond money, and he wins on appeal, the bond would be invalidated and the city would be unable to pay back investors, which would ruin the city’s credit rating, Briggs warned.

He said an appeals court ruling would be unlikely until the middle of next year.

Categories: KUSI