City Needs to Double Its Annual Spending on Road Maintenance
• Council Appears to Prioritize Other Needs over Roads
BY BILL KOENEKER
Malibu public works officials acknowledged this week at the regular Malibu City Council meeting, the city's roadways have been underfunded for the last four years or longer.
Based on a proposed pavement management plan the city should have been spending a minimum of $600,000 per year, but has only been allocating $300,000 for annual street pavement overlay and maintenance.
Public Works Director Bob Brager told council members the "good news" is the municipality has not fallen behind yet and still ranks at about 70.
"Results showed that in order to maintain about 70 over the 15-year program period, a minimum annual funded budget of about $600,000 was required," the staff report states.
Brager explained the city has approximately 45 centerline miles of city-owned streets with a replacement value of about $40 million.
The adopted budget for fiscal year 2011-2012 is $300,000 for street pavement projects. The plan recommends a minimum of $600,000.
A certain level of rehabilitation is required to maintain eligibility for Prop C funds and other transportation grants, according to city officials.
Brager said there are four streets that "are pretty bad" and Malibu Road should be the first street targeted because it is heavily used and in poor condition.
During public comment, Realtor Paul Grisanti said the city has been underspending on street maintenance for years. "The roads are not a sexy issue," he said.
Ryan Embree insisted the underfunding is over a million dollars. "The $600,000 [figure] is way too low," he said.
Council candidate Skylar Peak said he hoped the council would invest heavily in road maintenance. "I don't think $600,000 would be enough," he said.
The council briefly discussed how the budget should be increased, but also briefly discussed how they would have to find more money to do it.