Planners see capital plan

Published 10:22 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Suffolk plans to spend more than $85 million next fiscal year on capital projects, including a new city hall, water and sewer improvements and preliminary costs for a new elementary school.

The numbers were released Tuesday in a Planning Commission meeting. The capital improvements plan is an outline of the city’s anticipated capital needs over the next decade.

The full 10-year plan includes more than $724 million worth of improvements. It is developed by the city manager and her staff, then forwarded to a subcommittee. Those recommendations then are considered by the Planning Commission, which will make edits and recommendations next month and send the document to City Council. The first year of the plan is included in budget recommendations.

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City budget officer Anne Seward and Public Utilities director Al Moor presented the plan Tuesday.

In the first year of the outline, the new city hall is the big-ticket item. The building is anticipated to cost about $22.7 million.

About $32 million worth of water and sewer improvements, including water source development, also is scheduled for fiscal year 2012.

Also in the first year, the city plans to set aside $1.5 million for site acquisition and engineering for a new elementary school to serve the Holland and Whaleyville communities. The remainder of the construction cost, $16 million, is planned for fiscal year 2013.

Other items in the first year include $1 million for intersection construction, $800,000 for fire trucks and $512,000 for a city software replacement.

In the second year, the plan includes $14.7 million for replacement of the city’s E911 system.

Looking further ahead, funding for big projects includes $25 million for a new middle school in year four of the plan and design costs for a Nansemond Parkway public safety center in the fifth year.

Seward said the recommendations are within the city’s debt capacity. The city plans to fund about 72 percent of the plan with debt, 13 percent with cash and the remainder through state and federal government dollars and other sources.