This issue has been a hallmark of Dan’s time in office. He has led the effort to assure a long-range outlook for infrastructure planning, and adequate long-term funding.
Early in his tenure, the City began to take note of the age of our infrastructure, and the significant amount of replacement and rehabilitation that would be required in the next few decades. Dan advocated and got put into policy a 20-year view of upcoming infrastructure needs rather than the typical 5-year view taken by most cities. Based on the information in that expanded horizon, he and Councilmember Jeff Johnson worked with City staff to identify the significant shortfalls and plan steps to address them.
In 2010, the city council adopted the first phase of that plan, which shifted existing expenditures from operations to infrastructure funding and identified future revenues needed to plug the gaps. Wherever possible, existing funding was used rather than adding new funding. However, there have been targeted levy and utility fee increases enacted as part of that plan, dedicated to ensuring long-term sustainability of infrastructure funding. Since the original plan was adopted, with Dan’s leadership additional areas of City infrastructure have been analyzed and have had funding solution plans put into place.
Dan supports the City’s current approach of setting aside money for future cash expenditures on infrastructure rehab, rather than significant and costly borrowing for those needs. Additionally, he opposes shifting water and sewer costs away from fees paid by all users toward exclusively tax-based support which exempts non-profit users, among others, from their share of costs.