October 26, 2014

Project priorities regular part of council budget discussion

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com

Gardner City Council members will be asked to approve a 2012-2016 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) as they begin to discuss Gardner’s 2012 budget. Formally, a 2012 budget must be approved no later than Aug. 25, 2011.

The four-year program lists a number of projects city staff might submit for approval between 2012 and 2016. In total, the estimated cost of all projects is more than $49  million.

Celia Duran, city engineer,  said staff members compiled their project lists based on several master plans including the parks plan, street plans and the city’s comprehensive plan. However, she said, many of the projects may not be funded.

“We don’t know that we’ll get any money for these projects,” she said. “We want to make (the council) aware of our needs so if money becomes available, we can fund them.”

City staff will not  make requests to fund the vast majority of projects during the 2012 budget process, however there are a number of high-priority projects council members may see as they consider the 2012 budget.

For example, according to the proposed CIP, city staff anticipates requesting $75,000 to upgrade the HVAC control system at city hall. However, there are no funds available in the Capital Improvement Reserve Fund for such a project.

For several of the projects, city staff anticipates asking for partial funding as the years progress.

For example, officials hope to construct a $2.1 million south lift station storage tank. Wastewater department staff will ask for $150,000 towards the project in the 2012 budget. They anticipate requesting another $670,000 during the life of the four-year CIP They’ve only identified $10,000 in available funds in 2012 in the wastewater development fund for such a project.

Over the course of the next four years, parks and rec department officials have listed more than $5.2 million in projects. However, for 2012, officials anticipate requesting only $216,000 for three projects – $183,000 to build foot bridges over low water crossings on the Greenway trail, $18,000 to renovate Madison practice fields with a gravel parking lot, and $15,000 to install security cameras at Gardner Aquatic Center.

Jeff Stewart, director of parks and rec, said the three projects for 2012 are all safety concerns.

There are no funds identified for any of the three projects.

Duran said there aren’t funds for most of the projects regardless of the department or budget from which the funds would come. But, she added, the list is to give city council members something to think about.

“We’re giving them a list of our recommendations,” she said. “They think about it, look into them all and decide whether they want to fund any of these projects.”

The CIP is based on projections, but the priority and the list of projects may change over the course of the next four years as well.

“Even though we’re saying this is our best guess that this will be needed by 2016, but every year we’ll look to see if it’s needed,” she said. “(The CIP) doesn’t mean that they’re going to be funded or that we have to have (the projects).”

Comments

  1. Sounds like a lot of busy work going on for things that we can’t afford because we don’t have the money and we already have too much debt. And why are we spending $10,000 on a citizen survey since we don’t have the money to do anything???? But our dear ole city with Drovetta at the helm continues his status quo government which more than likely will provide more debt for the citizens as he takes care of the special interests and he will be responsible for giving the citizens a bigger bill for their fire protection here in a few years. I hate to think of what kind of city administrator he will be providing for the people – he/she will have all the needed credentials but most of all will have a huge rubber stamp in their hand to do whatever Drovetta wants. I truly wish I could just see a small sliver of sunrise…………….

  2. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    The Gardner City Council will meet for a special work session at City Hall on Monday, April 25, 2011 at 6:30pm. Three items are scheduled for discussion with no formal action to be taken.

    1. Request by USD231 for financial partnership to provide sewer and street infrastructure related to the new elementary and middle school facilities proposed to be built north of 183rd Street, midway between Center Street and Moonlight Road in Gardner.

    2. Discuss a utility leasing concept and consider seeking ideas from qualified companies or organizations to assist the City in meeting challenges related to parts of its Capital Improvement Program for maintaining our basic infrastructure for water, wastewater and electric utilities.

    3. Discuss the salary range for a new City Administrator as part of the search and hiring process.

    Work session agenda details are available at http://www.gardnerkansas.gov/council_agenda_042511.

  3. Well, Drovetta, Gourley and Gilhaus have their action plan started to get the schools what they want and to have the city pay part of the costs as you can see with Work Session Items 1 & 2. Gourley promised to finance those city costs one way or the other and I have a feeling this utility leasing concept is part of the plan. The big push starts this coming Monday night……………wonder if the Council, the electric board or the citizens will figure things out or perhaps whether they even want to figure things out but I cannot understand how the citizens could put stupid on their forehead and be paying for these schools plus the city costs and losing control of their utilities with more than likely a higher cost to the citizens because when you pull in another party to divide the pie, it will costs the citizens more in the long run in my opinion. The loss of your fire department all over again and you will be paying a higher cost for that too here in a few years as will be evidenced on your tax bill, that is if you look at your tax bill and figure out what has happened to you.

    You have to wonder if the new city administrator will go along with all of this conniving and manipulation or whether he will be his own person. He/she would truly be worth his/her salt if he/she could stop the veil that is used way too much around here.

  4. Charlie K says:

    Something is wrong here… 2.1 million on wastewater infrastructure and 5.2 million on parks and rec? Perhaps our priorities are in the wrong place? I mean $183,000 on foot bridges for a trail? Are you kidding me???

    I can’t believe that in these tough economic times when are city is nearly broke we think that is a smart expenditure.

  5. Samuel K says:

    @Charlie K. Agreed.

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