City News Service
The city of San Diego is preparing to go to the bond market for $75 million to fund the repaving of 60 miles of streets and infrastructure repairs to libraries, sewers and other facilities, Mayor Jerry Sanders announced today.
The mayor said he will take his plan to the City Council for approval on Monday. His proposal comes soon after council members gave him the go-ahead to streamline contracting procedures for such projects, which he said will allow the work to get started quicker.
"Like all good investments, this is spending money that will save money in the long run," Sanders said. "These are projects that must get done, and we either do them now or allow the problems to get worse."
Road projects will take place throughout the city, with streets in the worst condition receiving top priority, he said.
Councilman Todd Gloria said surveys show that the poor condition of San Diego's roadways is the biggest concern of residents.
"Now that the economy is picking up, and we're continuing to reap the benefits of our reforms, I believe we should take more aggressive steps toward addressing our infrastructure and ongoing maintenance needs so we don't fall further behind," Gloria said.
Besides roads, the bond money will fund improvements to fire stations in City Heights and Hillcrest; libraries in San Ysidro and the Skyline neighborhood; buildings in Balboa Park; the sea wall at Mission Beach; and storm drains and street lights throughout the city.
The funding will also help with projects to increase the city's compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
About $30 million will be used on the roads, with the rest going to around 50 other projects, according to city officials.
The city issued a $100 million bond three years ago to pay for similar needs. Before that, the city was shut out of the bond market for years because of its troubled finances.