Local News

An Update on Fullerton’s Infrastructure

You no doubt are aware of the poor road conditions here in Fullerton. These road conditions are the most noticeable, and arguably, the most critical of all of our infrastructure needs, but we have many other infrastructure needs as well.

The Fullerton City Council has directed the City’s volunteer Infrastructure and Natural Resources Committee (INRAC), in association with City staff, to study the problem and make a recommendation to better address our infrastructure needs. This has been a daunting task involving many factors, but the Fullerton staff members have done a great job of presenting the facts to the INRAC committee members in a clear manner.

Though much focus has been placed on roads (we have 294 miles), there are several other critical infrastructure needs that cannot be ignored, including 45 bridges, 31 buildings, 61 parking lots, 6 parking structures, 46 parks, 41,000 trees, as well as vehicles, equipment, IT, sidewalks, curbs, traffic and street lights.

INRAC has been tasked with looking at our budget, current revenue sources, and at potential funding sources. We have a big challenge in that our annual budget and current revenue sources are substantially less than is needed to keep all of our infrastructure (plus staffing and other needs) up to the desired level. One result is that for many years, we have not repaired roads as quickly as they wear out. Road repair is much more expensive than most people think.

To compound the challenge, a substantial portion of Fullerton’s discretionary general fund budget goes to pensions and public safety (police and fire), leaving only about 30% of the budget for infrastructure, parks, staff, etc. Other funding sources such as grants and developer fees are limited, and often must be directed to specific projects or categories of repair or enhancements. For instance, if Fullerton gets money for park enhancements from grants or specific developer fees, that money cannot be used to fix roads.

The city staff and INRAC committee members have reviewed the overall budget at a general level, and then examined in more detail the current budget vs. actual needs for all categories of infrastructure. We also have reviewed our current and potential funding sources, including taxes, fees, other state or federal money, sales of assets, and grants. From there we discussed alternative solutions to bring our infrastructure up to a sustainable level.

We will be presenting our findings and recommendations at a meeting open to the public on January 23, at 6:30pm in the Fullerton City Council chambers.

For more details on the state of our streets infrastructure, please see the documents posted on the City’s web site HERE.

On behalf of the INRAC committee members, I’d like to thank the city staff for their thoroughness and transparency in walking the INRAC team through this complex challenge. Thanks also to my fellow INRAC members, all willing to get up very early twice a month to for our 7:30am meetings, to give back to the city of Fullerton and its residents.

Protect local journalism – please subscribe to the print edition of the Fullerton Observer. Our online edition is free, but we depend on print subscriptions from readers.  Annual subscription is only $35/year. It only takes a minute – Click Here To Subscribe. Thank you for your support for the Fullerton Observer. Click here to view a copy of the print edition.

6 replies »

  1. It’s past time to cut city staff levels, benefits, and pensions in Fullerton. Lets start with the 1st responder overtime pay.

  2. There has been substantial work to improve the roads in Fullerton while fixing the antiquated water mains -at the same time. By doing both at the same time the city saves money. It’s interesting that the water infrastructure is not even mentioned in this article when it in fact needs the most attention. There is a comprehensive plan to fix the roads… and it’s already being implemented. Look at the Chapman cooridor leading to the 57 – completely redone. Look at Harbor entering Fullerton from the north, completely redone. “Fix the roads” is an old mantra. The fact is the roads are getting fixed is a strategic and cost effective manner.

  3. ” The fact is the roads are getting fixed is a strategic and cost effective manner.” Not exactly let them eat cake… However, when I requested information about road repair on Valencia Drive between Magnolia and Lemon… I was advised by the city that it was in the plan… That was 10 years ago and the condition of the road continues to deteriorate. Clearly this is not the only street that needs to be repaired. I understand that the water mains need a complete renovation and that the order of operation logically requires the water mains be replaced then the roads repaired… So, I would like to see a clear plan of action and time table (to say nothing of a budget and how the money is to be raised) on repairs.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.