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Village Vision News

Capital budget to focus on streets, parks, library

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Village trustees have set a $3.4 million capital spending budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year which begins May 1. Budget talks recently ended with the adoption of a plan that calls for continued maintenance of the Village with emphasis on its streets, parks and library.

These capital improvements add to fixed assets in the Village and do not include the operations and maintenance budget which, when combined with capital spending, is expected to provide an overall total Village budget of $8.7 million.

This year’s capital planning session on March 6 was not unlike the previous year when trustees were willing to dip into reserve funds for planned capital projects, many of which were not undertaken in the 2011-12 fiscal year, including the Oreana water main. That project had a price tag of $552,000 and will be ready for implementation later this year. Other projects that did not move forward and have since ceased to be priorities in the new budget are irrigation and improvements to ball diamond No. 5 and the purchase of laptop computers for trustees, according to Village Administrator Heather Kimmons.

“We budgeted more than we needed last year,” Kimmons said, noting that several projects came in under budget and made it unnecessary to dip into Village reserves. Among those projects were the light remodeling of Village Hall and roofing the main pavilion in Forsyth Park. The Village currently has $4.9 million in reserves.

Topping the list of street expenditures for FY 2012-13 is $1.1 million for Phase IV of the Cox Street improvements, which will extend from Smith Street to Rt. 51. Design plans have been completed to include a four-foot increase in the existing 20-foot road and a storm sewer on each side. The new design is expected to address needs associated with the street as the primary route for emergency vehicles operated by the Hickory Point Fire Protection District. Additionally, transport trucks use the street to deliver chemicals to the Village’s water treatment plant located at the far east end of the street. Village Engineer Chuck Hunsinger said the project could get underway as early as May.

Costs for the Cox Street project increased from the original $725,000 estimate last fiscal year due to the addition of a 12-inch water main to replace the system’s original six-inch main. Hunsinger provided three different design alternatives before the Village decided on the most costly option to replace the deteriorating cast iron main. Public Works Director Larry Coloni said this water main has created six or more repair claims over the past year.

Several priority projects that earlier had been included in the 2012-13 budget as part of the Village fiveyear capital plan were either eliminated or bumped out further. The $430,000 earmarked for the Oakland Avenue improvements to remedy occasional flooding issues has been eliminated. Bumped out until fiscal year 2013-14 were expenditures on the County Highway 20 improvements project, when it is expected that $258,000 will be allotted for land acquisition. Phase I of the project will come during fiscal year 2014-15 when $1.262 million will be added to the county’s share of the overall construction costs. Also bumped out to 2015-16 was a plan to expand Forsyth Public Library.

Infrastructure expenditures included in the 2012-13 capital improvements and slated for completion this summer are:

  • Marion Avenue surface replacement, $483,000
  • Tyrone Drive overlay, $152,000
  • Jason’s Way overlay, $ 92,500
  • Fairway Drive overlay, $229,000.

Additional capital projects set for Village parks and its library include:

  • Trail improvements, $10,000
  • Northwest pocket park development, $30,000
  • Trail lighting for northwest pocket park, $30,000
  • Structural engineering costs to study possible library floor repairs, $10,000

Among the projects which had been part of the Village’s five-year capital plan last year and which trustees decided to put on hold as budgeted items were plans for a recreation/ activities center and a bike path extension to connect Oakland Avenue to Hickory Point Road.

Kimmons combined the Village’s operating and maintenance budget with the capital budget and presented trustees with a tentative annual budget at their March 19 meeting. A public hearing on the budget is set for Monday, April 2, during the regularly scheduled Board meeting.

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