Gloria proposes $120M bond for fix-it projects

SAN DIEGO —City Council will consider a proposed bond issue that would fund nearly $120 million of projects, including fixing San Diego’s streets, storm drains and replace fire stations.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria released a list Thursday of nearly 20 projects the city will tackle with the proposed bond.

Mayor proposes $120 Million infrastructure bondAmong the big-ticket items contemplated in the bond are $11.2 million to replace a fire station in City Heights, $8.2 million to replace a fire station in Hillcrest, and $4 million toward re- doing the Mission Hills/Hillcrest Library, $3 million for the San Ysidro Library and $2.8 million for the Skyline Library.

One of the city’s busiest fire stations in need of major fixing is Fire Station 17, nicknamed “The Hub,” located at 4206 Chamoune Avenue.

“We have the right resources we just don’t have enough of the right resources,” said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Fennessy, adding that they’ve outgrown the station’s space.

The station was built in 1950 and has several cracks in the walls, duct taped hoses and barely enough room for the fire engine.

“We’re making some progress,” Councilwoman Marti Emerald said. “[This is] real headway not just in building fire stations, but making sure the public is safer.”

Street resurfacing accounts for $43.5 million of the money, Gloria and Emerald and Councilman Mark Kersey said.

San Diego’s 2,800 miles of paved streets and 200-plus miles of paved alleys earned an overall rating of 57.6 out of 100 in a 2011 survey of road conditions, which was below other major cities in California.

A street in good condition has a rating of at least 70. A figure between 40 and 69 means a street is in fair condition. Below 40 is poor.

Only 35 percent of the roads and alleys were in good condition and the portion of streets in poor condition was 25 percent, according to the study.

“This infrastructure bond will help us improve our neighborhoods to levels San Diegans deserve,” Gloria said. “Repairing streets, storm drains and replacing failing, aging facilities with bond funds is fiscally responsible and community focused.”Marti Emerald, Todd Gloria. Mark Kersey

Portions of the bond will go towards building new libraries for Skyline, San Ysidro, San Carlos and Mission Hills/Hillcrest areas.

“It’s really important that we do this now so that we can take advantage of relatively low interest rates as well as low construction costs,” Kersey said. “We know that our infrastructure backlog is well north of $1 billion.”

Kersey, who chairs the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee, is hosting public meetings in each district to receive public input on infrastructure priorities.

Kersey told reporters recently that while the backlog of capital projects in the city is officially around $900 million, the reality is that no one really knows the true figure. He has pushed for new assessments of municipally-owned buildings and sidewalks to get a clearer picture of the city’s needs.

The council infrastructure committee will discuss the bond Monday morning and official’s project it will come before City Council by January.