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City committed to strong infrastructure

Posted: May 15, 2017 4:25 p.m.
Updated: May 16, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Good government is forever working to sustain future prosperity and building for tomorrow. The city budget must always include infrastructure, just as our vision must always include infrastructure.  We must make responsible decisions, and we must not leave liabilities for the future.

Although there have been major accomplishments in years past, such as the downtown drainage infrastructure, undergrounding of utilities completed in some areas, and the water treatment facility, there will always be more to fund, schedule and complete.

Infrastructure affects so much of our modern life, and it affects the competitiveness of every business in Camden. It is a thread that binds our prosperity for the future. And, it isn’t just about business, it is about you having power to your lights, water to your taps and roads that are safe for driving upon. It is the underpinning of an active citizenship. Its value reaches far into the future to make things we cannot yet imagine a reality.

There are always two sides to the old adage of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” One side views the phrase literally, meaning do not fix anything until it is completely broken. The other side thinks that continually maintaining something will avoid complete failure and will be less expensive.

Prior to the recent investments in the Kendall Mill Village, it was broken. From electric lines/services to water supplies, from sewers to paving, it was broken.  So, I am very proud to share with you how it is today.

“Having lived in the Kendall Mill Village since 2005, I was delighted when the city of Camden announced this project, particularly the plans to repave our streets, bury the utilities, and install new street lights. Because of the project’s large scope, it was obvious that it would take considerable time to complete and that a certain amount of inconvenience was inevitable along the way. But with the work nearly complete, I can definitely say that it was all worth it. These improvements have added considerable momentum to the continuing revitalization of our neighborhood. Right now, there are at least five houses undergoing renovations and expansions. The Kendall Mill Village is a real asset for Camden, with houses of a size especially suitable for young professionals, empty-nesters, and retirees. Finally, I would be remiss in not mentioning how courteous, accommodating, and communicative the city staff and the contractors were throughout the process.”

Thank you, Joseph Bruce, for sharing your thoughts on the major improvements in the Kendall Mill Village of Camden.

The scope of this project included: replacing water mains and sewer mains, installing sewer cleanouts, moving backyard services  to the street, providing new meters as needed, installing 40 new streetlights, working storm water systems, taking utilities underground, repairing damaged curbs, and repaving all streets following the utility work. This was a complicated job. The streets are narrow which means there were times that lanes and entire streets were blocked. The boring around and under large trees to minimize damage to the root systems was challenging. This $5.4 million investment was funded from a bond and from state revolving funds.  

The Kendall Mill Village is a significant win-win for Camden.  First, it dramatically improved the services and ascetics of the historic village. Second, it is the very type of improvements that we need to be making in order to boost economic growth.  

This is the starting point, not the end. There are other infrastructure projects going on in several areas of Camden, and there are many more to be done.  Your city council is committed to the city’s infrastructure vision.

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