Berkeley has a very large infrastructure backlog. For many years, the City has failed to adequately maintain its roads, parks, pools, sewers, sidewalks, Old City Hall, the VA building, and other facilities.
As of March 19, 2019, the city's infrastructure liabilities were estimated at $786 million. Funding sources for infrastructure are limited because 80% of all tax revenues pay for City employees' salaries and benefits. This funding sources for this budget cycle are as follows:
General Fund: A transfer from the General Fund to the Capital Improvement Fund is made annually. The General Fund contribution to the capital program is $5.5 million in FY 2018 and in FY 2019. This funding supports the capital improvements that do not have other funding sources regularly available such as building repairs, and supplements programs like street rehabilitation.
Measure F: Approved by Berkeley voters in November 2014, will benefit the Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department in terms of additional annual funding for major maintenance and capital expenses for parks facilities. Measure F funds will provide the majority of funding for major renovations and upgrades to the Rose Garden Trellis in FY 2018 and FY 2019.
Measure BB: Approved by Alameda County voters in November 2014 implements a 30 year Transportation Expenditure Plan by renewing the 0.5 percent transportation sales tax approved in 2000 and increasing the tax by 0.5 percent, will benefit the City’s streets and roads, as well as pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. This 1 percent sales tax is managed by the Alameda County Transportation Commission and Berkeley will receive over $3 million a year in additional funding, as well as capital funding for the Gilman interchange project.
Measure T1: Approved by Berkeley voters in November 2016, General Obligation Bonds not-to-exceed $100 million, which will be used to repair, renovate, replace, or reconstruct the City’s aging infrastructure and facilities, including sidewalks, storm drains, parks, streets senior and recreation centers and other important City facilities.
Gas tax: The City will receive $10.4 million in gas tax revenue this year. How much will be spent directly on fixing streets is unclear.
- Aquatic Park flooding worsened by antiquated drainage pipes
- Opinion: A photo essay of Berkeley’s ancient ruins
- Opinion: Berkeley's street deteriorate despite tens of millions spent from Measure M
- Opinion: Diversion of tax dollars from parks to City employees' pension obligations
- Opinion: The decay of Berkeley's infrastructure due to rapidly escalating personnel costs
2019 Special Council Meeting on Projections of Future Liabilities