Commission approves capital plan

Published 10:40 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Planning Commission voted Tuesday to forward a $748-million capital improvements plan to the City Council for consideration at a February meeting.

Relatively little discussion was given to the vast plan during the planners’ meeting. Commissioner Jim Vacalis, however, was concerned about the lack of a new fire station in the first five years of the plan.

“I want to see that moved up,” he said, referring specifically to a planned fire station on Holland Road.

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Budget Director Anne Seward, who presented the plan, said the city is hoping to get participation from developments that are in the works. That participation could include land or cost participation.

The plan totals more than $748 million for 10 years, with about $327.2 planned for the first five years. The first year of the plan, the final version of which will be considered for funding as part of the budget process in the spring, is $59.7 million.

About three-quarters of the funding is proposed to come from debt, while the general fund will contribute 10 percent and other sources, including the state and federal governments, will contribute 17 percent.

The plan also includes funding for Holland Road widening and associated improvements. About $6 million is planned for the first year of the plan, with an additional $10 million each year in years two, four and five.

Among other projects in the first year is a Kenyon Road connector that would run from Kenyon Road to Holland Road, providing a bypass for truck traffic, especially that associated with the CenterPoint industrial development in the area. The project is expected to cost $7.7 million.

Other projects in the first year include a master plan for a new central library and redevelopment in the West Washington Street area; an upgraded security system and perimeter fencing at the downtown police precinct; the renovation of a former military facility on Bennetts Creek Park Road to become a recreation center; improvements at the Planters Club; renovations at the Market Street fire station; improvements at the Nansemond Parkway/Wilroy Road intersection; and more.

A variety of school projects are set for later years in the plan, including new elementary and middle schools in the northern portion of the city and renovations at John F. Kennedy Middle School.

To view the full plan, visit