The red dots are turning green.
While standing in the middle of old, pot-marked, concrete Westwood Drive, Mayor Sandy Stimpson outlined the capital improvement projects his administration would be focused on this fiscal year, in the form of a map full of green dots that signified capital improvement projects.
During tough budget negotiations with the City Council, the administration brought out a similar map, filled with 880 red dots to indicate verified infrastructure complaints in the city. City Engineer Nick Amberger said there were “several hundred” green dots on the new map.
“We’re not going to fix it overnight,” Amberger said of the broken infrastructure. “It’s going to take several years.”
The plan includes $12.2 million in repairs to broken sidewalks, storm drains, roads and bridges.
“Infrastructure improvements are a key component of our goal to make Mobile the safest, most business and family friendly city in America by 2020,” Stimpson told a gaggle of reporters at Law Enforcement Memorial Park, conjuring his oft-repeated campaign pledge.
The capital plan was developed by the city’s engineering department in collaboration with the departments of public works and traffic, according to a statement. The Mobile County Commission also provided input via its pay-as-you-go program. The City Council helped the administration establish priorities and ensure that every district will receive attention in the 2015 fiscal year, the statement read.
Stimpson said most of the money was made available because of a commitment from the city to no longer transfer funds from the capital budget to the general fund budget. Other funds came from Community Development Block Grants, he said. Projects were prioritized partially based on public safety and frequency of use, Stimpson said.
Amberger gave a breakdown of how some of the $12.2 million would be used. He said $500,000 would go for sidewalks, $600,000 would go for drainage inlet repair, another $600,000 would go for drainage pipeline repair, $200,000 would go for guardrail repair, $500,000 would go for striping of streets, $200,000 would go for traffic signal repair.