By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s city controller says budget cuts in the Streets Department have created what he calls an epidemic of potholes.

The Streets Department aims to repave 131 miles of city roads each year. But City Controller Alan Butkovitz says because of budget cuts the city hasn’t come close to that goal for much of the last decade.

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The high-water mark was fiscal 2009, when the city repaved 119 miles. But the city hasn’t reached half that goal since then, and Butkovitz says that’s led to a proliferation of potholes.

“As in all kinds of deferred maintenance, you either pay me now or you pay me later. The city, during the prior administration opted to pay me later.”

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Kenney administration spokesman Mike Dunn says the goal is to reach that 131-mile mark at the end of the city’s five-year plan.

“The budgets for the highway division have increased in the last couple of years and will continue to, in the coming next few years.”

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In the meantime, Dunn says city crews fix 94-percent of reported potholes within five days.