In the next five years, the city of San Diego will have to increase its spending on stormwater projects an average of $164 million annually, more than it costs to run its park and library systems combined.
To help pay for this, the city could increase homeowners’ monthly stormwater fees by more than 1,000 percent, though any increase would require a public vote. If the city doesn’t find the money, it could face up to $37,500 in daily fines every time it pollutes the ocean.
“That’s a little sobering,” City Councilman David Alvarez said Wednesday after hearing a report with all these numbers.
The astronomical figures punctuate a long-running tension for the city over whether to chip away at the backlog of broken infrastructure or build new things residents need.