City officials hope to expand the Suffolk Seaboard Coastline trailhead off North Main Street by more than 11 miles, having it stretch all the way to the Chesapeake city line. The city received a grant for the project, but it requires a local match.
City officials hope to expand the Suffolk Seaboard Coastline trailhead off North Main Street by more than 11 miles, having it stretch all the way to the Chesapeake city line. The city received a grant for the project, but it requires a local match.

Archived Story

Council approves $747 million capital plan

Published 11:31pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

City Council on Wednesday approved a $747 million spending plan that includes proposals for new schools, road projects, park facilities, fire trucks and more during the next 10 years.

Major projects to be funded this year include a Kenyon Road connector, a right-turn lane at the intersection of Nansemond Parkway and Wilroy Road, 911 equipment and tower upgrades, a renovation to the Market Street fire station, a master plan for a new downtown library and surrounding redevelopment, and more.

The first year of the plan — a total of $59 million in projects — will be proposed for funding as part of the upcoming budget process. Leaders hope to pay for about 45 percent of that with new debt.

Lorraine Yuriar was the sole speaker at a public hearing on the plan. She questioned the necessity of some of the projects, specifically an expansion of the Suffolk Seaboard Trail, which eventually is planned to be an 11.5-mile trail between downtown Suffolk and the Chesapeake city line, and the renovation of a military facility on Bennett’s Creek Park Road into a recreation center.

“There are some things that I question whether or not it’s actually worth putting the money into,” Yuriar said. She suggested the city use the money instead to fix drainage ditches or fund the school system.

“Push them off for a while, maybe, or cut them altogether and let’s put the money where we need to use it right now.”

The city hopes to acquire the former U.S. Army facility on Bennett’s Creek Park Road in a land swap. The new center would include a fitness room, multi-use spaces, game room and computer room. Athletic fields would be developed behind the building.

But the facility is a mere 700 feet from another recreation facility attached to Creekside Elementary School. Yuriar said that “doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.” Parks and Recreation Director Lakita Watson instead said the two facilities would complement each other — the new building would not include a gymnasium like the other one, she said.

Yuriar also pointed out the city anticipates spending more than $400,000 annually on staffing, maintenance and utilities for the new facility.

As for the Seaboard Trail, Yuriar said it would be better to save the money. Annual maintenance there is slated at $25,000.

The city is receiving a $747,000 grant for that project and needs to put up $190,000 in local money to match it.

The approved Capital Improvements Plan is available at www.suffolkva.us. The public will have another opportunity to comment on it during the budget process.

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  • dollyb12

    Since some of my money is going toward this trail, I would at least expect to get a tourist guide and a map telling me how to get there so I can at least eyeball what I bought…I mean, I would never buy a car or house unseen. I will even go so far as to request that a street sign be erected pointing me in the right direction if my request for a map goes unanswered.

    Suggest Removal

    • thekytikat

      The spur of this trail is located right next to the Cedar Hill Cemetery, you can see it on Google maps. Thing is, every time I drive by, the gate is closed. That’s the trail I meant, and yes, I’m Lorraine.

      Suggest Removal

      • dollyb12

        Hi, Lorraine. It’s nice to meet you. I thank you for speaking out against — I totally agree with everything you were quoted as saying in the article. I have to wonder why the gate is closed (I rarely travel in that area unless I have to go to the post office and RiteAid) if it is paid for with taxpayers’ funds. I think we would be better off if Suffolk would take all of that money and pave some roads before they all turn into what I am seeing on Interstate 264 near Broad Creek. You are so right about the public hearing and, as far as I am concerned, ALL public hearings. It’s already approved by the time the public is “invited” to attend a public hearing (maybe they should rename it ‘public telling’). I believe there is a law requiring public hearings in certain instances, isn’t there, so the “invitation” is just a formality to avoid lawsuits. My husband and I have witnessed the disregard for community input at public hearings.

        Suggest Removal

  • thekytikat

    This is the start of the budget process ya’ll! They’ve approved this, which means the money is as good as spent. By the time the public hearing on the budget comes around in April, it’s too late to fight the spending projects.

    The budget process starts with the School Board & the CIP. We ought to be paying attention to this stuff, and speaking out!

    Suggest Removal

  • Norseman

    Well the council has to keep the north Suffolk people happy or they might try to tell us all to pack sand and take their money and leave.

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  • dollyb12

    Seriously???

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  • dollyb12

    We are falling into potholes all over the city (including the Bennett’s Creek Park Road) and the feds spit out over $700,000 for a park? And Suffolk intends to throw money on the same project? What a waste of taxpayer dollars!

    Suggest Removal

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