While it’s not a glamorous issue, the need to address our aging infrastructure is imperative. Last year the city had a main sewer line collapse on Decorah (just East of Dodd) causing the closing of the road for several days, thousands of dollars in over-time pay, and the threat of backed-up sewer lines to homes. This is typical for lines of that age and condition. Sewer pipe has a life expectancy of 50 years and much of Mendota Heights’ lines are rapidly approaching– or have exceeded –this life expectancy. Prior to 2008 the city had a multi-year plan (and budget) to replace outdated lines, yet plans were shelved and budgets were cut. I believe we need to re-prioritize the replacement of our sewer pipe system to avoid future, and costly, emergencies.
Moreover, I believe we need to re-prioritize the maintenance of our roads and trails throughout the city, as well as work to make them accessible for everyone who wishes to enjoy them. Much like the sanitary system, our roads and trails have a life expectancy of 50 years, with the ability for prepayment at 25 years. As it stands we have many roads and trails that are beyond their life expectancy and, thus, in dire need of resurfacing or replacement. And (again) much like the multi-year plan for the sanitary system, the road improvement plans were shelved and its budget was cut.
If we do not commit ourselves to improving the infrastructure of Mendota Heights going forward, we are committing ourselves to a legacy of irresponsibility to our residents and poor stewardship of our city. I will work to move this city forward from the ground up.