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Newly seated District 5 City Councilman Mark Kersey is wasting no time in moving to implement changes in the way San Diego goes about improving its crumbling infrastructure.

Last week, Kersey released a plan to identify and prioritize needed repairs throughout the city, to be implemented by the newly-formed Infrastructure Committee, of which he was appointed chair. The proposal was unanimously adopted yesterday.

The focus of Kersey’s plan is to develop a plan that, beginning with the 2015 fiscal year (which starts in mid-2014), begins to address approximately $900 million in deferred maintenance to city infrastructure including streets, storm drainage, and city facilities that was put off during the budgetary crises of the last decade.

That $900 million figure only tells part of the tale, Kersey says. Not included are needed repairs to sidewalks, parks and recreation structures, piers and seawalls, and even Qualcomm Stadium, which alone carries an estimated price tag of $80 million for needed repairs.

Before beginning work, Kersey wants to first put a price tag on the one-time cost to bring each facet of the city’s investments back into acceptable condition and on recurring costs to keep repaired assets functioning in an acceptable condition. These items would be laid out in a publicly accessible infrastructure report card.

He then proposes meeting with community stakeholders to identify the most pressing needs and budget repairs to be made first in these areas.

“As we begin to emerge from our fiscal woes, we have to focus on what has been neglected,” Kersey says. “There hasn’t been nearly enough investment in our streets and sidewalks, parks and libraries, streetlights and storm drains.”

The next Infrastructure Committee meeting, where implementation of the plan is to be fleshed out in further detail, is scheduled for February 25.

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