The Palo Alto City Council devoted the entirety of its Tuesday night meeting to hearing a report on 13 months of work from the Infrastructure Blue Ribbon Committee (IBRC) about the city’s infrastructure needs and potential sources of funding for projects.
City council members tasked the IBRC in Oct. 2010 with providing “a recommendation to the City Council on infrastructure needs, priorities, projects and associated funding mechanisms to address the infrastructure backlog and future needs.”
“Over the years Palo Alto has built up a wide array of infrastructure assets. In the competition for civic funds, infrastructure has suffered,” read the executive summary of the report. “As a result, the City has underfunded its infrastructure maintenance in the amount of over $2 million per year.
According to the committee’s report, the city’s infrastructure has a backlog of “catch-up needs” totaling over $40 million. The committee recommended that Palo Alto spend $32.2 million annually over the next four years for total maintenance of the infrastructure management system, representing a $2.2 million increase over what the city has already budgeted.
Funding for the projects could come from any number of alternatives the committee presented, including a tax increase that would offset annual needs and long-term borrowing to finance new facility construction.
-Kristian Davis Bailey