Question 3: Verona has many infrastructure issues that require immediate attention. Which ones would you focus on first and why, and what would be the benefits of doing so?
One of the most important functions of the town council is to support the infrastructure requirements of Verona; such as roadways, water, sewer, building and equipment. Over my last eight years of service on the Town Council, Verona, at the approval of the Council has invested millions of dollars in infrastructure. Decisions matter. Your vote matters. The stewardship and experience of your Town Council members is critical to the prudent allocation of your taxes to properly maintain the infrastructure needs of our town.
Let me share of few examples:
Roadways: our small town of Verona has 37 miles of town and county roadways. This year we will invest approximately $600,000, plus grants, rebuilding and repaving 3.25 miles of roadway. I have consistently advocated a crack sealing program to ensure we extend the life of these expensive but necessary projects. Protecting and Extending our Assets always.
Sewer: our 40+ miles of underground sewer lines run under many of our roads. Our sewer lines are old and will gradually have to be replaced. Repairs are expensive and costs are variable due to the emergency nature of the repairs. The maintenance expense is increasing annually and replacement costs will be a significant investment in our town’s infrastructure. Cracked sewer lines resulting from freeze/thaw cycles and tree roots cracking old pipes creates massive water ( INI ) infiltration & inflow into our sewer lines. This additional water flow puts tremendous pressure on our sewer treatment plant. In order to address some of these problems, we will need to install slip liners in main sewer trunks with a resin membrane to seal cracks and strengthen pipes. These measures will keep the water out and allow sewage to flow to the treatment plant thus extending the life span of existing infrastructure. Vision & Responsible Budgeting.
First Responders: Verona will continue to invest in the safety of our community including building a new firehouse 2 and investing in new vehicles and equipment for our emergency services. Firehouse 2 is too small and old, and could likely cost more money to fix and maintain than building a new firehouse ($3,000,000). Our volunteer first responders do a tremendous job maintaining and extending the lifespan of the equipment but in the coming years we will need to purchase a new fire truck ($800,000) and ambulance ($350,000). I have advocated that we begin budgeting reserves for these anticipated expenses. Common Sense Budgeting.
Fields – I have consistently advocated for a maintenance program for our fields to maximize life expectancy and ensure safety of our children. Our oldest turf field is Centennial at 13 years and is due to be replaced in near future. A field of this size costs roughly $500,000 to replace. We now have a $50,000 yearly fixed Field Reserve line in our Municipal Budget due to my advocacy. Responsible Budgeting 101.
As we move forward, we must always be prepared to address the known and unknown infrastructure needs of our town, which is why responsible budgeting and planning is important. Creating reserves and savings in advance for these anticipated projects is important. We cannot overlook the obvious expenses we are all aware of. If re-elected, I will continue to ensure we focus on our critical infrastructure, building and equipment needs and fulfill one of the most important functions of our government.