Council to update CIP

Published 10:32 pm Saturday, February 13, 2010

Contributing Editor

Washington’s City Council meets Monday to begin updating its capital improvements plan, which it uses as a guide when budgeting major equipment purchases, construction of new facilities and upkeep of existing equipment and facilities.
The CIP is for the next five fiscal years beginning July 1 this year. The proposed CIP carries a $55.77 million price tag. The proposed CIP projects for each of the next five fiscal years follows:
• 2010-2011 — $11.86 million.
• 2011-2012 — $11.721 million.
• 2012-2013 — $9.643 million.
• 2013-2014 — $6.144 million.
• 2014-2015 — $16.402 million.
The council is operating under a policy that if an item is not included in the CIP for a specific fiscal year, it will not be funded in that year. However, the council will consider funding CIP needs that arise because of emergencies. As part of its CIP process, the council will assign priorities to requests to have CIP project funded.
Included in the draft CIP is a new police station, estimated to cost $5.3 million to build and equip.
The draft CIP also includes nearly $600,000 for amenities for the proposed Festival Park. Last month, the council added the Festival Park master plan to the city’s parks and recreation master plan. The city is seeking a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant to help pay for the amenities at Festival Park. The grant requirements call for a 50 percent cash match from the city, if the city receives the grant.
The city is seeking $295,125 in PARTF funds from the state. If the city receives that funding, it must provide a like amount. That would provide $590,250 to help pay for some Festival Park components. If the city receives the grant, project construction must be completed within three years.
That master plan calls for a performance venue, public restrooms, a children’s play area, picnic shelter and benches, among other things. Susan Suggs, who helped develop the master plan, believes Festival Park will be a complementary addition to the city’s waterfront.
Several private groups have said they are willing to help pay for Festival Park amenities, possibly allowing the city to decrease its obligation toward the project.
Council members have said they will closely study the draft CIP as they craft a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. In part, they want to minimize the debt that CIP projects would place on the city in the coming years. They also want to provide the facilities and equipment needed to provide essential city services, but at a cost that’s affordable to city taxpayers.
The council uses the CIP, which provides a schedule and costs for major equipment purchases and/or construction projects, to help it put together budgets each year. By looking at each year of the CIP, the council knows what capital projects are scheduled for that year and how much each one is estimated to cost.
The council meets at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St.