How to Take a Big Bite Out of Our Infrastructure Deficit.

This is a quick post, but I think it's a pretty simple argument. It seems our city can't figure out how to fund our $1.7 billion dollar infrastructure deficit. Kersey's new plan is weak  and doesn't get us close to the money we need. Everyone seems to think a tax increase would be tough. So what can we do?

 

San Diego is sitting on some low-hanging fruit. We could raise a big chunk of money without really hurting our city. Selling all of Balboa Park for development would be bad, but what if we sold some other assets? Here are some rough numbers: 

  • Sell the Qualcomm Stadium site for SDSU expansion and development, reserving a small piece for a river park: 400 million 
  • Sell the Sports Arena site: 300 million 
  • Sell Torrey Pines Golf Course, with zoning or restrictive covenant requiring preservation of the golf course: 200 million 

That's 900 million right there. Start charging for trash pickup ($47 million a year) and stop operating Qualcomm Stadium ($12 million a year) and that adds another 590 million over a ten-year period. 

 

Right there, that's about 1.5 billion dollars we could use to fix infrastructure. And I really don't think we would miss any of that. Honestly, I would rather see some nice mixed-use development at the Qualcomm and Sports Arena sites rather than vast parking lots. With it looking more certain that the Chargers are leaving, we need to do something with that land anyways.