Pine Island (population 3,000), Minnesota, has huge dreams, yet they can’t take care of their basic systems. Who pays the price?
Why do places like Cobb County, Georgia, keep spending more and more, while their municipal budgets go further and further into the red? This series digs into the tale of Cobb County: a poster child for the Ponzi-scheme approach to growth.
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.
Problems have solutions. Predicaments have outcomes. We're in a predicament.
Improving a city doesn't take a lot of money. It just takes courage.
Ed Erfurt discusses his perspective as a local leader in a small town on what infrastructure is worth investing in, how to get a real return on your investment and how to avoid getting "caught up in free money."
California’s high-speed rail project appears indefinitely on hold. What is the opportunity cost of all the things the state hasn’t done during the decade-plus its leaders have spent fixated on this?
Doing the math on a routine, uncontroversial street paving project reveals an investment that will never pay for itself, in a city that has thousands of such investments. That we do it anyway reflects the cultural consensus at the root of our towns’ financial problems.
A recent D Magazine story nailed the problem with Dallas’s development pattern: the city has way more infrastructure than it can afford to maintain. But its solution—assessing local taxes differently—didn’t go far enough.