Burbank officials continued talks regarding the city’s upcoming 2019-20 budget this week and turned their attention to deferred infrastructure projects.
Marnell Gibson, the city’s public works director, told council members during a budget study session on Tuesday they can start chipping away at unfunded infrastructure needs with a multiyear plan, helped in part by upcoming revenue generated by Measure P, a three-quarter-cent sales tax that will go into effect on April 1.
It was approved by Burbank voters in November, and officials estimate it will generate about $20 million annually.
A component of the new tax requires Burbank to allocate at least half of the revenue toward infrastructure projects, which are estimated to cost about $470 million over the next decade.
Gibson told council members about $150 million is needed for street projects, $126 million for storm drain projects, $100 million for city facility upgrades and upkeep and $94 million for park projects.
One way city officials can start addressing those needs is by utilizing one-time costs at the beginning of a multiyear plan to create a funding cushion.
For example, Gibson said the city can invest $10 million from its General Fund and $10 million from a loan repayment to bolster the recurring $10 million expected to come from the sales tax and recurring $4.7 million from the General Fund to pay for about $13.5 million in infrastructure maintenance and improvement projects.
That would leave Burbank with about $21.2 million in carry-over funds that can be used in the second year for ongoing maintenance costs and other deferred projects, Gibson said.
She said the key for the multiyear project is to fund projects based on priority and how much revenue is available.
To determine the priority of the projects, Measure P also required the city to create an infrastructure oversight board that will help with decision making, as well as monitor the status of projects.
The City Council is scheduled to discuss the creation of the oversight board on March 26.