Monrovia’s finances – and its budget – took a huge hit when the State did away with Redevelopment, our primary economic development tool. In 2013 we began to see some improvement, but we couldn’t fully understand then what this would mean to our overall finances.
I requested that our City Manager conduct an open and detailed budget study so that both our Council and our community had a better understanding of the sources for city funding, how our funds are allocated into different accounts and how best to plan for our needs. These sessions were held every few weeks and the topics were very detailed.
Through these study sessions we began to develop answers to the needs of our community regarding infrastructure – parks, streets, parking lots, water, sewer and city buildings. We found the needs far exceeded our financial capabilities at the time, but we began a plan to catch up with the maintenance. In 2014 we began the process toward repair:
- Commissioned a full study of our sewer and water systems under our streets
- Commissioned a study of the condition of our streets
- Began an upgrade of our parks and utilized grant opportunities to replace playground equipment
- Budgeted and spent more than $3 million dollars on street and sidewalk improvements – Olive, Magnolia and Primrose Avenues and Duarte Road are just a few of the streets where roadways and sidewalks have been repaired in recent years
Moving forward, we have taken the study for street, curb, storm drain repair to an accelerated rate by ensuring that all streets that are in sub-par condition will be repaired in the next three years. Once the results of the study for water and sewer are complete we will develop a plan for those repairs.
Our plan for park renewal will include each and every park in our city.
The proceeds of the Gold Line Maintenance and Operations yard, along with grants, have allowed us to begin the largest project in our history to improve and upgrade infrastructure in the Station Square/Gold Line area, including the restoration of the Historic Train Depot.
While we do not have the estimated $40 million dollars needed for all the work, our staff will be presenting to us in the coming months a plan to leverage our annual Measure R funds to make the much needed repairs in just a few years.