It could cost $2 billion to fix San Diego’s infrastructure

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The City Council’s budget analyst has issued a report saying the city’s infrastructure is so depleted it will take about $2 billion to repair.

The report says the city has to find a source of funding and that could include a tax increase.

The report was primarily about the needs for the fire department, but the news that infrastructure backlog could be $2 billion or more citywide, was a shock.

Mark Kersey chairs the Council’s Infrastructure Committee, and he said, “We’re doing a patch work of repairs, and we’re in a situation right now, where the need that we have, and this goes for our fire stations, our streets, roads, and sidewalks. is pretty much all the city’s infrastructure. The needs for that vastly exceeds the resources we have to fill that need.”

The city has been issuing lease revenue bonds that do not require voter approval but that’s been challenged in court.

The city has 47 fire stations, and most are in need of repairs for plumbing, mold problems, leaky roofs, and space.

Meantime Mayor Faulconer has promised to tap into any surpluses the city has to help address infrastructure needs.

“I’m committed to increasing revenue for infrastructure, in fact, in the budget I proposed and council supported, 50% of all new revenue to the city this year is going to infrastructure,” said Mayor Faulconer.

It will cost about $22 million, but patch work is all that’s available right now.

The mayor and Fire Chief Javier Mainar are adjusting as best they can.

“It’s one of the reasons why we put in two fast response squads down I-8, they’re working,” said the mayor.

Some members of the City Council have talked about going to the voters to approve a bond measure, but that’s a tax increase, the mayor has been opposed to that.

For now the city is doing another assessment of the needs, due early next year. The new assessment will include sidewalks.

For years San Diegans have been told the backlog was under $1 billion, but now that has jumped to over $2 billion.

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