Council approves capital plan

Published 10:35 pm Thursday, February 3, 2011

City Council approved a capital spending plan worth $724.2 million Wednesday.

The first year of the 10-year plan now will move forward into the upcoming fiscal year budget proposal. Projects for the first year total $86.7 million.

A public hearing on the plan attracted only one speaker, Eleanor Clark of Lewis Avenue.

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“I would like to ask that you consider the area of South Suffolk Pleasant Hill once again,” she told the council. About 15 people in the audience stood when she asked supporters of more spending in South Suffolk to stand.

Councilman Curtis Milteer agreed with her.

“The last couple years, there has been nothing done in that community,” he said.

Even so, he joined his colleagues in a unanimous vote to approve the plan.

The public utilities fund accounts for more than 59 percent of the first year of the plan. Planned utility projects in the first year include an expansion of the G. Robert House Water Treatment Plant, a new 36-inch water transmission main, improvements to the Lone Star Lakes and Crumps Mill Pond dams, sewer extensions and a new water operations center.

A new city hall building also is planned at a cost of $22.7 million. The current city hall is inadequate because of numerous structural issues that are causing it to deteriorate, city officials say.

Also planned in the first year are airport improvements, acquisition and design costs for a new elementary school to serve the southern and western portions of the city, and drainage and street improvements in the Boston, Saratoga and Orlando neighborhoods.

If the first year of the plan is approved without edits in the budget process, the city also will purchase a new software system as well as a new fire engine and ambulance.