City council exchanges bond money to finance drainage, streets; several members want more cuts in the trail network


Staff circulated a memo last week proposing $ 57.8 million in shifts, which they presented to the board again on Wednesday. The changes largely add infrastructure projects to the bond program, although it also includes $ 15 million for Port San Antonio, which was not presented in the original submission. After city staff presented their initial plans on October 13 to allocate money to the 2022 bond program, several city council members said they wanted to see more money for things like streets and the draining. The city said it has $ 6.6 billion in basic infrastructure needs, far more than it can afford under the five-year bond program.

The proposed additions also include a multigenerational center at Palo Alto College, money for Tom Slick Park, and a partnership with K9 for Warriors to help build another building.

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To make room for these additions, staff recommended cutting funding for so-called “city-wide” projects like the San Antonio Botanical Center and Sunken Garden Theater, eliminating funding for the relocation of the SAPD pound and cut funding for the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail System.

A District 10 drainage project was part of the cuts, although it was replaced by funding for a more expensive street project in the same district.

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However, five council members pushed to cut the trail system even further, which city staff had suggested slashing from nearly $ 126 million to $ 110 million, in a bid to find more money for the trailblazers. streets and drainage.

The motion was defeated 6-5, with Jalen McKee-Rodriguez (D2), Ana Sandoval (D7), John Courage (D9) and Clayton Perry (D10) joining Castillo.

District 5 Councilor Teri Castillo initially suggested removing an additional $ 60 million from trails, to send an additional $ 40 million to streets, bridges and sidewalks and an additional $ 20 million to drainage and control. floods.

After that failure, McKee-Rodriguez suggested a compromise, simply cutting $ 30 million from trails to send an additional $ 20 million to streets and $ 10 million to drainage, but it failed in the same direction.

McKee-Rodriguez, Castillo and Perry then voted against final approval of the initial teams’ $ 57.8 million. Sandoval abstained in the final vote, although his vote appeared to be recorded as a challenge.

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After council members said they wanted more basic infrastructure such as streets and drainage included in the 2022 bond program, city staff suggested changes of $ 57.8 million.

The changes now place the five areas of the bond program at:

Streets, Bridges and Sidewalks – $ 480 million (up from $ 450 million)

Parks and Recreation – $ 274 million (IN $ 300 million)

Drainage and Flood Control – $ 162 million (up from $ 150 million)

Housing – $ 150 million (SAME as October 13 presentation)

Facilities – $ 134 million (instead of $ 150 million)

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