Maintain and Contain: City's Five-year Capital Plan Focuses on Repairs and Upgrades
Stormwater solutions a huge missing piece of the equation.
City staff have found about $70 million in capital projects that can be accomplished over the next five years, with a question mark still over one major line item.
Aldermen on Tuesday heard a preliminary report on improvements to public works, information technology and other upgrades that they will have to consider between now and 2017. But any major improvements to the city's stormwater system are still to be determined.
Capital projects refer to work that results in the construction or acquisition of city assets valued at $25,000 or more. City Manager Jim Grabowski said Tuesday the proposed five-year plan for street upgrades, parking lot repairs and central business district improvements focus on maintenance.
“We don't want to get into a position where we fall behind,” he said.
A few higher-profile projects, such as intersection improvements at York and Butterfield roads and the resurfacing of York Road from Vallette Street to Robert Palmer Drive, have cost-sharing or grant funding attached to them.
A large gap in the budget will be filled after the city's stormwater task force turns in its recommendations for improvements to the city's sanitary and sewer drainage systems. The city's stormwater consultants, Christopher Burke Engineering and RJN Group presented a report in December outlining fixes in flood-prone areas.
Third Ward Alderman Michael Bram asked why more money was not allocated in the 2012-2013 fiscal year to installing sidewalks in neighborhoods that do not currently have them. Grabowski reiterated his “maintenance” theme, but added that aldermen can direct city staff to make changes to the budget.
From here, the city's various committees will consider the list of projects. The public will have a chance to comment on the 2012-2013 budget on March 19, and the City Council is scheduled to approve it April 2.