On October 3, 2023, the Infrastructure Funding Study Committee held its second meeting, advancing Mill Valley's commitment to addressing its infrastructure needs. Chaired by Jerry Cahill, the meeting provided an opportunity for Committee members to hear Subcommittee reports and delve into the City's infrastructure requirements.
Andrew Poster, the Director of Public Works, presented the main topic of the meeting: the infrastructure needs in Mill Valley. This discussion is based on data indicating that the City's infrastructure will experience significant decline within the next 15 years under current funding models. He shared Mill Valley's responsibilities related to infrastructure, which includes everything from City buildings to roads, trails, parks, sidewalks, sewers, stormwater systems, and more. Director Poster talked about the Department of Public Works' mission, state and regulatory requirements, and the sources of funding for the City’s Capital Improvement Projects program. He discussed how the Public Works Department evaluates and ranks Capital Improvement Projects, estimates costs for planned projects, and how they respond to unexpected infrastructure failures and the high costs often associated with them. He shared the challenges of balancing high demand for infrastructure improvements and his approach to managing risks in maintaining the City's assets within the current budget.
The Meeting Presentation on Infrastructure Needs can be found here.
City Manager Todd Cusimano thanked Poster for his presentation, highlighting the importance of the content, as well as the deep level of transparency into the City's processes. Cusimano then set the framework for the Study Committee’s discussion, encouraging them to ask questions and share concerns.
Study Committee members raised important questions on topics such as risk management and insurance coverage, especially in light of concerns like wildfires and flooding. They also recognized the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on Mill Valley. Conversations included partnerships with local agencies, such as with the County of Marin's Flood Control Zone 3. The evolving definition of infrastructure was brought up, with an emphasis on the need to address cybersecurity and telecommunication system resiliency. Additionally, they discussed how a recent change in election dates might affect their potential recommendation to seek voter approval for a revenue measure. Finally, there was a request to explore how various funding mechanisms could affect different parts of the community in future discussions.
The meeting also included time for public comments, approval of the past meeting minutes and Subcommittee reports. The Survey/Communications Subcommittee shared insights from their first meeting with EMC Research, where they discussed the purpose, approach, content, and timing of surveys, along with the value of a voter sentiment survey ahead of the Study Committee recommendation. The Funding/Budget Subcommittee shared that they met to review the City budget and the Long-Range Financial Plan, setting the financial context for addressing Mill Valley's infrastructure needs.
As the meeting drew to a close, Chair Cahill summarized the key takeaways and shared that the next meeting will focus on funding options before the Committee. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, at 6:00 pm at the Mill Valley Library.
Please click here for more information about the Infrastructure Funding Study Committee
Questions or comments may be directed to:
Senior Management Analyst
Phone: (415) 388-4863