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Citizen Task Force Reviews City Infrastructure Needs

Members of the task force listen intently about the city’s infrastructure challenges.

Addressing La Mirada’s aging infrastructure and the nearly $200-million needed to complete the improvements was discussed by the Citizen Task Force on City Finances and Operations at its third meeting on April 30.

The City is currently facing the challenge of replacing many infrastructure items that have been in place for over 50 years.  At the same time, there is no available funding to complete the improvements.  Funding has diminished in recent years as state and federal governments have reduced their support of local government.  The State’s grab of more than $50 million in Redevelopment Agency funds has compounded the issue.

“La Mirada faces the challenge of funding nearly $200-million of infrastructure improvements in future years,” says City Manager Tom Robinson.  “La Mirada needs locally-controlled funds that are protected from State takes to fix streets, roads, storm drains, and sewers before they deteriorate further and become even more expensive to repair.”

The City’s engineering consultant identified some $67,250,193 in costs for repairing streets, adding storm drains, replacing damaged curb, gutter, and sidewalk, updating traffic signals, performing maintenance on sewers and bridges, and maintaining City parks and buildings. These costs are in 2012 dollars and are expected to grow over time.

Another $126,932,899 in costs was also identified for replacing privately owned boundary block walls along major and secondary streets, undergrounding overhead utilities at busy intersections, and adding streetlights.  These items are not currently owned by the City, but they significantly impact property values and the community environment.

The Task Force is reviewing the City’s finances and operations, developing alternatives for funding the City’s infrastructure and operational needs, and identifying ways for ensuring local control of local revenues. The Task Force will submit their findings and recommendations to the City Council in June.

The 29-member City Council-appointed Task Force is led by Chairman Ron Boatright and Vice-Chairman Paul Brown.  Members include: Mary Abbott, Phillip Bracey, Rebecca Cline, Jennifer Cole-Gutierrez, Jeff Duhamel, Deborah Ellis, Edward Eng, Michael Garcia, Joe Gibbons and Phil Glenn.

Also serving are Sylvia Grotz, Dave Harbaugh, Jeff Irvin, Steve Keithly, Mark Madison, Jack Miranda, Alan Nichols, Lee Olsen, Ellen Peters, Kenny Ratzlaff, Mike Saenz, Vic Salvino, Bill Sanders, Susan Savage, Dr. Stephen Smith, Rich Trujillo and James Zellerbach.

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