You know already about the Salem River Crossing currently low-balled at about $500 million.
Relative to the schools and bridge, it may seem small, like pocket change. But where there is one, there are others! The proverbial "tip of the iceberg"!
This is an important reason why the argument not overspend and overbuild an oversized Police Station has merit.
|The proposed bridge will cost at least ten Courthouse Squares|
|Around $750 million in need - 15 Courthouse Squares!|
|Our Deferred Maintenance problem|
Finding 12. The City has deferred maintenance on critical infrastructureIf we budget and overbuilt big, expensive, shiny new things, we are much less likely to take care of things we already have or to be able to meet unexpected expenses when things break.
As with many local governments across the country, the City of Salem has a significant infrastructure problem. Infrastructure refers to the tools, equipment, buildings, land, and machinery that City employees use to produce services and products for residents. To hold the budget line during the recession, the City focused on the provision of direct services and reduced its infrastructure repairs and maintenance. “Catching up” on the backlog of infrastructure repair and maintenance is a difficult task for which the City has not allocated sufficient resources....
A cursory analysis, which should be revisited and fleshed out, indicates that the City could be underinvesting in its infrastructure by as much as 100%+.
By itself the pattern of periodic landslides on River Road may not be an argument against bigger projects. But as part of an even larger pattern of deferred maintenance and grandiose budgeting out of alignment with more prosaic community values, including basic seismic and roadway measures to prevent needless death and save lives, it says much and points to a need to rethink things.