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Report provides look at cities’ capital needs

August 27, 2018

Cedartown seeking $10 million to fund infrastructure needs and more over next five years

Cities across the state need a lot of money in order to provide for the needs of growing areas in Georgia, which shows no sign of slowing down in the years to come.

The Georgia Municipal Association sought information from their member cities on a statewide basis, and though not all took place the ones that did are seeking some $11.2 billion overall between 2018 and 2022 to make needed improvements.

Especially to the state’ infrastructure, which received a “C” rating overall from the American Society of Civil Engineers 2014 report card.

Meanwhile, those same cities across the state that need infrastructure upgrades have actually decreased their spending on capital spending by 20 percent over the past years, based on a share of the state’s GDP according to a 2016 Brookings Institute report.

The City of Cedartown was among the cities in the region to report their needs to GMA, and over the next five years projected some $10 million in spending needed to upgrade everything from local roadways to making contributions to community and downtown development using capital funds.

City Manager Bill Fann said the large amount of the city’s cost – and most of those are infrastructure-related costs.

“Making upgrades to water and sewer are expensive,” he said.

He added that even though those capital improvement costs tally up, they are important and needed to replace infrastructure that delivers a vital resource to customers.

Some $4.75 million is needed to fix problems according to the survey results they sent in and were released by the GMA for District 1.

That’s compared to Chatsworth, a population half that of Cedartown but who needs much greater work. They’re looking at $19 million in water and wastewater capital spending needs for the next five years , and $24.2 million in costs overall.

Overall in the region and based only on cities who responded, those costs could get as high as $207 million over the next five years all across the District 1 area, made up of Northwest Georgia cities and counties.

The report also recognizes another point: municipalities aren’t going to be able to make those kind of improvement on their own. GMA said continued cooperation with state and federal authorities to get funding from higher levels remains an important revenue source for making those upgrades.

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