Council slated to address capital improvement needs

Published 7:04 pm Thursday, February 18, 2016

Washington officials are scheduled to discuss upcoming large capital expenditures during the City Council’s meeting Monday.

The city’s capital-improvements plan — a detailed report on major building projects and significant equipment purchases scheduled for the next several years — is used to help develop the city’s future budgets. Currently, the council is developing the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget.

The city has adopted a pay-as-you-go plan when it comes to major capital expenditures, proceeding with CIP projects when the money is there, sometimes splitting a project into phases funded over several years. The council assigns priorities to CIP projects to determine when they will be funded, or if they are funded.

Capital expenditures of $20,000 or more must be included in the CIP before funding is allocated in budget, according to city policy. In case of emergencies, sometimes that policy is waived. The plan addresses major expenditures such as new vehicles, stormwater (drainage) projects, water and sewer projects and computer hardware and software upgrades or replacements. The council decides which proposed projects receiving funding, whether a project will be completed in phases and when a project begins.

The CIP for the next five fiscal years (2016-2017 through 2020-2021) calls for spending $21.6 million on public-works needs throughout the city.

During the next five fiscal years, the CIP outlines how the city would spend $2.5 million on public-safety needs (fire police, EMS), including buying a new fire engine, two ambulances and several police patrol vehicles during that period. The city’s planning division would spent $990,000 during the next five fiscal years, including $570,000 on streetscape improvements and $20,000 to provide Wi-Fi on the waterfront during fiscal year 2017-2018, according to the CIP.

If it follows the CIP, the city would spend $500,000 in fiscal year 2018-2019 on the first phase of building a new soccer complex at the McConnell Sports Complex, followed by spending $80,000 in the following fiscal year on the second phase of soccer-complex project.

The public-works CIP earmarks $8.815 million to meet stormwater needs during the next five fiscal years. It also calls for spending $3.3 million to drill four new wells to supply the city’s drinking water system.

As for the city’s electric system, the CIP includes $19 million in improvement projects, equipment purchases and vehicle replacements during upcoming five fiscal years.




About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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