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The City of San Diego is about $478 million away from bringing its streets to satisfaction, according to a report released Thursday by the city’s government watchdog unit.
The amount needed is significantly more than what the city has set aside to repair its streets – half of which are in “poor condition,” according to the San Diego Grand Jury report.
The report states that Mayor Jerry Sanders’ current allocation of funds to road repairs is not nearly enough to keep up with the disrepair. Sanders set aside about $34.1 million in bonds for street repairs in his proposed budget and asked the city council for $75 million more.
Over the past three years, Sanders' administration has committed $67 million in bond money over the last three years to fix streets, said Alex Roth, a spokesperson for Sanders.
The Grand Jury’s report is not the first red flag to bring attention to the city’s crumbling streets. A 2010 city audit claimed the city wasn’t using all of the bonds set aside for repairs, allowing the infrastructure backlog to reach a value of about $800 million.
The report does call out the mayor, saying the amount of money dedicated to repairing the streets in Sanders' proposed budget is only a "minimal sustaining level."
Click here to see what San Diego's mayoral candidates had to say about fixing roads during Monday's debate.
In response to the report, Roth said the mayor has committed an acceptable amount of money.
“In the past few years, the city has committed an unprecedented amount of money to fix streets that suffered from decades of neglect," Roth said.
"Sadly, the Grand Jury report fails to mention this historic financial commitment," Roth continued. "We do agree with the Grand Jury that repairing San Diego’s streets is vitally important to our citizens’ quality of life, which is why we will continue our aggressive work in this area.”