Public to comment on capital plan

Published 9:41 pm Thursday, January 20, 2011

Suffolk residents will have a chance to review the city’s Capital Improvements Plan and give input on it.

The 54-page plan is posted on the city’s website, and a public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 2 during the council’s regular meeting.

The document sets forth capital projects that the city expects to need in the next 10 years, along with when it will need them and their estimated cost. The wide variety of projects includes new school buildings, renovations to existing city buildings, a new taxiway at the Suffolk airport, water and sewer projects, fire truck purchases and more.

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The plan also lays out roughly how the city will pay for the projects. It will issue debt for about 81 percent of the costs over the 10-year period, Budget and Strategic Planning Director Anne Seward said Wednesday.

The full decade’s worth of plans includes about $724.2 million in projects. The first year of the final version of the plan will be included in the upcoming budget proposal.

The big-ticket items in the first year are water source development and water treatment plan expansion ($32.3 million) and a new city hall building ($22.7 million).

Water source development and water treatment plant expansion, in fact, is one of the most expensive items in the entire plan. The document calls for spending more than $108 million — more than one-seventh of the total plan — during the decade to keep water flowing to Suffolk homes.

The water projects include the third phase of the expansion of the G. Robert House Water Treatment Plant, a new water transmission line, pump station upgrades, sewer lines and improvements to dams at Lone Star Lakes and Crumps Mill Pond.

The new city hall is needed, engineers say, because the current one is suffering from various structural deficiencies that will eventually make it unsafe if allowed to continue. The slab underneath the building is falling, resulting in cracked and bowing walls. One entrance has been closed for several months because it was deemed unsafe.

To view the full plan, visit and click on the icon that says “2012 Proposed Capital Improvement Plan.”