Discussion, direction, and potential action regarding California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Funding. There is no staff recommendation.
In 2009, the California League of Cities (League) and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) released the results of the first ever comprehensive California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment. Spurred by contributions from cities and counties, the League and CSAC have been able to contract with Nichols Consulting Engineers over the last ten years to produce the report and update on a biennial basis from 2008-2018.
During the state budget crisis of 2010, the report helped stave off potential raids on the state gas tax and prompted serious discussions within the Legislature regarding the deteriorating condition and unmet funding needs for California's state and local transportation network.
In order to meet their goal, they are asking cities to contribute, collectively in total, $75,000 every two years. In previous years, cities have been challenged to meet their goal.
They are asking cities to contribute as much as we deem appropriate toward the financing of this important tool. They also offered contribution suggestions based on population. Coalinga's population would fall between 10,000 and 25,000 with a suggested contribution level of $300.
The findings of the report have been startling. In the next 10 years it is estimated that the local systems will have a $73.0 billion finding shortfall. Existing funding for California's local streets and roads is $1.98 billion annually but $3.5 billion is needed just to maintain the current statewide average rating of 65. To reach a statewide average of 87 over the next 10 years they estimate the funding required will need to be $6.824 billion per year.
The comprehensive data provided by the Assessment has been used to advocate against and avoid significant cuts to local transportation funding over a number of state budget cycles. Budget proposals that would have been devastating to cities and counties across the state and negatively affect the transportation network as a whole have been thwarted due to the use of this important tool by the League and CSAC. And most recently, it has been extensively used to advocate for increased funding. Specifically, the League and CSAC have used the report to:
Make presentations to key members of the Legislature (and distribute the report to the Governor, each member of the Legislature, and California's congressional delegation) and the California Transportation Commission;
Lobby for increased revenues for cities, as proposed in the First Extraordinary Session on transportation;
Better explain pavement conditions and funding needs to the public through media coverage;
Create a dialogue with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) about the report's methodology, assumptions, and specific findings;
Make local presentations to Boards of Supervisors and City Councils; and
Strengthen the arguments made by cities and the League in numerous letters regarding legislation and the budget to prevent policies and budgetary decisions that would have damaged local transportation funding.
League staff reports that without the report, it would be nearly impossible to fight the trend of placing emphasis on funding the state highway system while continuing to neglect the funding needs of local streets and roads. It is critical that the Assessment stay fresh and be updated on a regular basis. To do so, it requires the financial support of cities.
V. FISCAL IMPACT:
A cost of $300 from the General Fund.