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Burbank Infrastructure Oversight Board meets for first time

 Infrastructure Oversight Board
Medians are one area the city’s new Infrastructure Oversight Board will look into.
(File Photo)

Burbank’s new Infrastructure Oversight Board will have the challenge of ensuring the city’s infrastructure needs are met, and its members said they are up to the task.

The board had its first meeting on Thursday inside the council chambers and went over the basics about the new advisory board with the City Council and the scope of its responsibilities.

The board is made up of seven members — Jef Vander Borght, Maria Coronado, Greg Jackson, Vanessa Rachal, Armen Avazian, Walter Brennan and Tamala Takahashi.

Vander Borght was elected as chairman of the committee for the year and Coronado as vice chair.

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Vander Borght, a retired architect and general contractor, is a former Burbank City Council member and served as mayor in 2005.

Coronado works for the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. It is her first time serving on a board or commission.

Jackson is a land-use consultant and had previously served on the Burbank Planning Board from 1997 to 2009.

Rachal is a transit analyst for the Los Angeles County Public Works Department and was chairwoman of the Burbank Traffic Commission before it was dissolved to make way for the Infrastructure Oversight Board.

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Avazian is a senior civil engineer for the city of Glendale and has not served on any commissions or boards.

Brennan is a retired construction consultant and has served on the Burbank Building and Fire Codes Appeal Board. He is currently on the Burbank Unified School District’s oversight committee.

Takahashi is a nonprofit consultant who served on the Burbank Civic Pride Committee and the local library’s board of trustees.

Board members established that they will meet every fourth Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. inside the council chambers. They also voted to allow for up to five minutes for public comment per speaker.

Marnell Gibson, the city’s public works director, said the purpose of the board is to advise the City Council on which infrastructure projects should be prioritized, keep track of the progress on funded projects and let the public know about what is being done to improve the city.

The board will also take on the duties of the now-dissolved Traffic Commission, which include reviewing any parking district requests made by residents.

The Infrastructure Oversight Board was created as a result of the passage of Measure P, a three-quarter-cent sales tax approved by Burbank voters in November.

Under the ballot measure, the city is required to allocate no less than 50% of the revenue generated toward infrastructure projects.

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The tax, which went into effect in April, is expected to generate about $20 million annually.

Burbank has had about $470 million in deferred maintenance and unfunded infrastructure costs over the next 10 years.

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