SF Mayor Touts Fire Station And Park Improvements As Jobs Engine

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Conservatory of Flowers

The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. (James Irwin/CBS)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Plans to fix 18 aging fire stations and spruce up a dozen parks and playgrounds around the city should provide a much needed lift for the construction industry, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said Tuesday.

Lee urged the Board of Supervisors to move quickly to borrow $325 million approved by voters under several different infrastructure-related bond measures over the last three years.

KCBS’ Barbara Lee Reports:

“I can’t think of another better gift than to get people more jobs in this city,” Lee said.

The supervisors were also anxious to promote the effort at job creation in a sector hard hit by the housing collapse and shrinking municipal budgets.

Supervisor Scott Weiner said the building and construction trades in San Francisco were seeing “Depression-level unemployment of around 25 percent or more.”

The next round of bond sales should create 2,100 construction-related jobs over the next year, Lee said. The list of projects also includes some significant repaving and substantial upgrades to San Francisco’s emergency water system.

The Ten Year Capital Plan, that Lee developed as city administrator before he became mayor, calls for $9 billion in spending on infrastructure upgrades over the next decade.

“I’m not waiting for inauguration,” said Lee, who has several weeks left on his term as appointed mayor before being sworn in as an elected official. “These are programs, these are jobs to make sure that we keep everybody working.”

Supervisor David Chiu agreed that without large investments in the city itself, San Francisco’s economy would suffer.

“While capital infrastructure and capital planning may not be the sexiest thing that we do here in San Francisco, it is the most basic thing that city government needs to do,” Chiu said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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