Corbin H. Crable
[email protected]

City officials presented to the Gardner City Council wish lists for capital improvement projects at the council’s June 21 meeting, but it may be a while before some of them become a reality.

The presentations came a week before the council is set to begin discussions on the city of Gardner’s 2011 budget. The first of several work sessions on the budget will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 28 at City Hall, 120 E. Main St.

Public Works Director Dave Greene listed several street rehabilitation programs that could come to fruition in the next few years, including improvements on 183rd Street between Center and Moonlight, and improvements on Waverly Road from Madison to West 167th.

City staff has recommended the 183rd Street project be a priority, which will cost a total of $750,000, Greene told the council. The city will need to fund a little less than half the cost, with the rest of it coming from CARS funding.

City Engineer Celia Duran said that all told, city staff has listed 20 potential projects totaling $12.2 million between 2011 and 2015. Those include an engineering study for the intersection of Cedar Niles and Santa Fe, as well as the installation of a traffic signal at Moonlight and Lincoln Lane. Local business owners submitted letters to the city voicing a concern about a lack of a signal after the Lincoln Lane project was completed, Duran said.

The area of stormwater, meanwhile, has nine potential projects on deck for 2011-15, with a total projected cost of $2.3 million. Currently, there is no funding source available for these projects, unless the council decides during its upcoming budget work sessions to implement a stormwater utility. The recommended projects include $60,000 in stormwater improvements to 175th Street and Waverly.

A water line replacement project is recommended for 2011, according to Jim Melvin, the city’s water/wastewater manager. The project would replace 1.3 miles of the city’s water lines per year, based on an 80-year life span for water lines. Currently, the budget does not allow for any replacement of those lines for the next three years and only allocate $650,000 to replace lines every other year starting in 2014.

Finally, projects for the Parks and Recreation Department will be delayed until funding becomes available, according to Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Stewart.

Town hall meetings concerning the budget have led up to June 28’s work session. Gardner Mayor Dave Drovetta has hosted the meetings, in which he and City Administrator Stewart Fairburn led discussions and listened to ideas on how to make up for the city’s projected budget shortfall. The city has already saved funds through a reduction in force enacted in early May. That resulted in the layoffs of six employees in the city’s Community Development Department.

Like all work sessions and council meetings, the June 28 work session is open to the public.

For more information, including meeting agendas, visit the city online at