I referred to the City's infrastructure needs that have been neglected for decades in my recent Elephants in the Room post. And in the Drainage Survey I compiled, it was revealed that nearly 50% of the households that responded had experienced problems with stormwater drainage. The flooding last year caused seven million dollars in structural damage to homes in the City. That does not include replacement for furniture, appliances, electronics, etc.
What do we need to bring our stormwater infrastructure into the 21st century, how much does it cost, and what do we have planned? My research indicates that our drainage system likely needs at least $170 million of upgrading In the recently passed budget, just under $11.5 million* is scheduled to be spent in the next six years.
When I requested an audio or video of the Finance Commission subcommittee on stormwater that met last Feb. 27, I was told there was none available. When I asked for the minutes, or even draft minutes, I received the following:
That wasn't exactly helpful. However, I had also requested handouts from the meeting, and a PowerPoint was included. Here is the grand total of the cost estimate:
A more modest $32.1 million proposal (the total of the column CIP FY21-26 in the below image) was also included, to begin to fix the issues now-- the total of all of the projects: (22+3+3+3.25+.85+0=32.1)
Here are the costs and projects that were budgeted for the last four fiscal years:
*** The figures of the six year budget have been updated to reflect the budget passed by the BMA. I was relying on the budget posted on the City website to be accurate. The BMA budget was slightly different from the budget passed by the Finance Commission. The total six-year CIP budget number for drainage should be $11,485,000 rather than $10,610,000. Sadly no new project was added. The change simply moved budgeted funds unspent from last year into this year's budget. The work on Lateral E budgeted for last year was not completed. Alderman Scott Sanders contacted me about this post and requested that I correct the figures.