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Note Attached Files!
March 14, 2001

As a City Council member, I get more inquiries about infrastructure than any other topic. "Infrastructure" includes the City's streets, sidewalks, buildings, parks -- and even its urban forest (street trees and trees in parks). For many years, Richmond has been miserably negligent in managing its infrastructure. The challenges are still huge -- probably in the several hundred million dollar range, but unprecedented progress is being made. 

At this time, several management initiatives that I fought for tenaciously have been adopted and are being used. One is the Pavement Management System, which uses specialized computer software to record and track the condition of all the City's streets. Another is GIS (Geographic Information Systems). Using these management tools and a willingness of a majority of the City Council in the last couple of years to address infrastructure funding, there is more funding than ever before to address these needs. 

Within the next couple of months, the City Council will decide how to spend nearly $60,000 in bond proceeds, most of which will go for infrastructure. The competition for these funds will be fierce, and every interested citizen should become familiar with the way decisions will be made and be prepared to fight for favorite projects. 

Not every City Council member has been supportive of infrastructure improvements. Councilmembers Bates and Griffin voted against the sewer rate increases and bonds that are now being used to fund millions of dollars of repairs to Richmond's Sewer District No. 1 antiquated sanitary sewer collection system. Bates, Griffin and Bell also voted against both capital improvement bond sales, totaling nearly $60,000, that will be used for infrastructure. Joining them for the Redevelopment bond was Councilmember Penn. 

The attached file, entitled "City of Richmond Infrastructure Maintenance and Capital Improvements," gives an overview of the very complex issue of infrastructure funding. It provides a preview of the specific projects that are being recommended by staff. If you do not see your project on this list, you should be prepared to fight to get it added. If it is on the list, you should be prepared to defend it vigorously. The attached file "Turner-infrastructure031401" is a letter to the city manager requesting additional information about potential infrastructure projects. 

3/13/01 See http://www.contracostatimes.com/community/wct/stories/casino_20010313.htm  , http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2001/03/13/MNC12668.DTL , for an update on the Casino San Pablo story.