Let's Be Proactive
One thing that was brought up on a radio show I listened to yesterday was the Core Area Infrastructure. As many of you know, the West Fargo Core Area has aging infrastructure. Sewer and Water lines running underground are reaching ages of 40 to 50 years old. This area is predominantly between Main Ave and 13th Ave and between 8th Street West and 9th Street East (with some extension beyond that).
I've been thinking a lot about how we can end up in a position like this. There was a number floating around a couple years ago, where it could potentially cost each property $250 a front foot ($500 in total, divided by two for each side of the road) for a complete rebuild of the infrastructure and roads. While not all neighborhoods will need to have that level of work done, some more than likely will.
What other Commissions (and the City) have failed to do, is be proactive when it comes to the existing infrastructure. I've been told by a few people that the city has focused on expansion. I think expansion is great, however, there needs to be a focus on what is currently there so that things don't fall into disrepair. There should be a healthy mix of focus on both expansion and current infrastructure.
The city recently wrapped up a study to determine the severity of all the infrastructure, and are awaiting final cost estimates. What I will commit to as Commissioner is ensuring that the City is proactive, especially when it comes to existing infrastructure. Being proactive allows for better planning, better use of funds to cover the costs, and also allows for potential lower costs. This also limits the need for massive projects like what we will surely be seeing as things get moving with this project.
When being proactive, we can plan for better use of funds, by allocating already collected tax monies, as well as utilize other programs, like Prairie Dog funding and excess utility fees. Doing this would limit the amount of costs that would more than likely be assessed. Ultimately, I would like to see Special Assessments come to an end, but we need to make sure steps are being taken to reduce them as we look for solutions to end them completely. This can happen, in part, by being proactive.