Infrastructure, both above and below ground, is a city’s skeleton, the most fundamental structure from which everything else springs. Replacing and maintaining Berkley’s aging infrastructure is essential. We must look through a lens of sustainability to improve our infrastructure, creating a plan that does Berkley’s part for the environment and for the city’s bottom line, which is why I am proud to have secured a no-cost energy plan for the city. I also support the creation of an energy loan revolving fund that will cut down on city energy costs and can be expanded to provide low interest loans to residents and businesses to make energy improvements on their own properties. I will continue to work toward investment in and development of green, energy efficient infrastructure so that Berkley can continue to not only be a great place to live, but also a place that attracts residents who see a future here.
We must continue to think bold in this area as we look to the future of powering our municipal buildings and dealing with stronger, more powerful weather events. An immediate concern for residents is flooded basements caused by an overwhelmed storm drain system. Too often after a heavy rain residents have to haul water logged furniture, photo albums, and boxes of mementos to the curb. While we must work regionally with the Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner and other communities, there are things we can do on a city level to help prevent this. These include such actions as investing in stormwater retention basins and continuing the policy of implementing restrictive drain covers over catch basins to slow down the amount of water that rushes into the storm drain at once. We can also build rain gardens into our boulevards and encourage residents to create their own rain gardens to help soak up some of that rain water. Additionally, I also support the city subsidizing backflow valves into home sewer lines to reduce the risk of water backing up into basements. Our infrastructure, from roads to sewers to city buildings, is a challenge and we must think creatively and regionally as we look to the future. I will continue to work tirelessly to help come up with creative solutions to these complex problems and make sure that the residents get the services they expect.