Seemingly every conversation I encounter anymore surrounds the high cost of maintenance of something or high cost of replacement of another. We are stuck in what feels like an endless repair and replace schedule that has hijacked our aspirations, mandating we focus on preservation.
The last few weeks have been especially hard for the future planners in our community as conversations surrounding sewer installation in Devola, school maintenance or replacement, and increase costs for employees because of health care programming. We are an old community, both in physical assets, age of people, and ideas.
Taking this cold reality into consideration I have started to put together a list. I need lots of help though……..
In order to help our community better understand where it is, where we want to go, what has to be done, what needs to be done, and what we want, I am attempting to create a master list of county assets.
This list will include public structures (town halls, school buildings, garages, etc.), public utility lines (city and county systems and years of install and maintenance with detail by section, and fleet vehicles (although fleet vehicles much less so).
This list will categorically list:
- the items by age (starting oldest first)
- items that the state has control to mandate replacement of
- items that already part of a master replacement/repair schedule
Our entire community needs to know the age of the things we use, and needs to know what is due for repair, replacement, or complete obsolesce. We have many dreamers in our midst, myself included, and when we have failed to maintain our current, we lose the ability to dream. I fear we are at that point in may ways, and it is my hope that having a schedule and plan codified that involves our community assets, we can plan for needed repairs (an not have $20 million dollar projects foisted upon us by state mandate) and most importantly provide framing for those of us who want to dream of new and better things.
We have to be able to hold each responsibility in hand because focusing only on either, gets us nowhere. We need to plan for repair and replace, but also for the future that we most certainly want for ourselves and for future generations.