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Bloomington Facing Infrastructure Backlog

Mon, 06 Jan 2014 06:03:37 CST
By: Charlie Schlenker

As the City of Bloomington grapples with a decade long neglect of investment in city infrastructure and facilities, the City Manager says staff will have to look for opportunities to save money. There is more than $400 million in deferred maintenance. Even if the goal is to take care of just the backlog over the next two decades, City Manager David hales says Bloomington could not presently afford the 20 million dollars a year that would take. he calls for innovative approaches, for instance in sanitary sewer pipe replacement...

   

"Right now a lot of those costs are estimated and would be predicated on digging down, digging out the pipes and installing new, backpaving, and repavement. On the other hand many cities are experimenting with lining of those pipes. Keeping the existing pipes. It is much cheaper."

Hales says the long term cost of lining pipes may not be appropriate in every case, depending on the condition of the original pipe, and how well the original line was laid and backfilled. Hales says the city could issue bonds for some high priority repairs. It could raise fees and service charges to support repair work. And though he is not sure the approach is logical, Hales says the city could sell off assets to raise short term capital for maintenance.

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