Capital plan OK’d
Published 10:56 pm Friday, January 24, 2014
The Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a capital improvements plan that proposes about $59 million in expenditures during the upcoming fiscal year.
The full 10-year plan, at a total of $693.6 million, was approved unanimously even though Commissioner Jim Vacalis said he would like to see some of the spending near the end of the plan moved forward.
“It seems to me that maybe there should be some rationale in putting all the projects in the last five years,” he said. “I still would like to see some mention of a Holland Road fire station. It’s mentioned in here, but it’s mentioned in the last five years.”
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Updated every year, the capital improvements plan lays out spending priorities and funding sources for the next 10 years. The first year of the plan, once approved, becomes part of the budget proposal set to be revealed in the spring.
Big-ticket items for the first year of the approved plan include $18 million for an operations maintenance facility and $2 million to purchase land in the Shoulders Hill Road area for a combined elementary and middle school campus, as well as $10 million for the Holland Road widening project.
Regarding the operations center, Public Works Director Eric Nielsen said, “The plan here is to create a center where our roadway maintenance crews will have a place to call home.”
Public Works crews currently work out of an assortment of trailers at the Carolina Road site and elsewhere. Nielsen noted this week’s snow was an example of an event where the crews would have benefited from a more permanent, organized space.
The downtown library also shows up in the first year of the plan, with $2 million set for a feasibility study on the potential for a higher education component in the new library, Jones said. An additional $12.6 million for the library is set for the second year of the plan.
Other items in the first year of the plan include $1.5 million for the Bennett’s Creek Recreation Center; $1.3 million to continue expanding the police administration building; and $825,000 to buy a ladder truck for the fire department and put an addition on the Lake Kilby fire station.
The majority of the first-year spending will be financed through debt, with state and federal sources and the city also chipping in with cash.
City Council will consider the plan next month. To view the capital improvements plan, click here.