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Council to discuss improvements

City Council members will spend Wednesday’s work session hammering out details of the city’s 10-year, $505 million capital improvements plan.

The work session will begin at 4 p.m. in City Council chambers, 441 Market St. The regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m. A public hearing on the capital improvements plan likely will be scheduled for Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.

The Planning Commission recommended a $505 million capital improvements plan for Council’s consideration. The plan is a 10-year look at anticipated capital improvements that will be needed in the next decade. Only the first year of the final plan is incorporated into the proposed budget.

The Parks and Recreation capital improvements plan for the coming fiscal year includes $410,000 for capital maintenance, $125,000 for John Yeates athletic field improvements, and $1.75 million for a new recreation facility in the new elementary school in the southern end of the city. The new facility will include a gymnasium, office space, fitness room and multipurpose room.

In the public buildings and facilities section of the plan, the airport will consider about $3.6 million for a new parallel taxiway, maintenance storage building and runway safety extension. Only a small fraction of the cost of these projects is being provided by the city — the rest of the funding would come from state and federal sources.

In addition, $370,000 in the city’s plan is earmarked for capital maintenance of public buildings, $250,000 for assessment and stabilization of the municipal center, $250,000 for a municipal center master plan and $4 million for an operations maintenance facility.

In the public safety arena, planned expenditures include $3.5 million for new fire engines, an aerial platform truck, a fire rescue truck and an ambulance; $350,000 for a Lake Kilby Fire Station addition; and $175,000 for fire station security systems; as well as funding for the first phase of a new joint fire/police station and training facility on Nansemond Parkway.

In the transportation department, $170,000 is set aside for channel dredging, and $1 million is earmarked for intersection construction. The Kings Highway Bridge is not set for replacement funding until after 2015.

The public schools capital improvements plan includes $16 million for an elementary school to replace the aging Southwestern and Robertson elementary schools. An additional $100,000 is set aside for hazardous materials management. About $6.6 million is planned for 2011-2012 for a new administration building.

In the Village and Neighborhoods Initiative plan, $811,400 is set aside for drainage improvements in the Orlando and Huntersville neighborhoods.

The Public Utilities Fund, which represents a separate capital improvements plan, calls for $27.7 million worth of improvements in the coming fiscal year, which includes $11.2 million for water source development and water treatment plant upgrades; $6.2 million for water distribution system expansion; $1.2 million for water system upgrades; and $9.1 million for sanitary sewer system upgrades.