Presentations for potential capital improvement sales tax projects continued Tuesday afternoon.
After hearing about six potential projects last week, the Washington Capital Improvement Sales Tax Committee was shown plans for a new fire station, new fire truck and a new industrial park at its most recent meeting.
The projects presented Tuesday carried a combined price tag of $4.5 million. Combined with last week’s presentations, the committee has now heard about potential projects costing nearly an estimated $9.3 million.
The city’s half-cent capital improvement sales tax expires in 2018 and voters will have a chance to vote on an extension in the April municipal election.
If voters agree to extend the tax for another eight years, the city could have between $12.6 million and $15.1 million to spend on capital projects.
Tuesday’s first presentation came from Washington Fire Chief Bill Halmich.
Halmich said the capital improvement sales tax has been important to the fire department. Funds from past taxes have helped build three fire stations and paid for the replacement of aging trucks.
If the tax is approved this year, Halmich said the department would like to do both with sales tax funds. He said the fire department likely needs a new station on the eastern end of town and a truck to man the station.
A study is currently being done to nail down the best location, but Halmich said growth in the eastern area of town needs to be addressed with an additional fire station in the area of South Point Road.
Halmich estimated the station would cost about $2.1 million. A new pumper truck for the station would cost about $525,000.
Halmich also said the fire department needs $250,000 to replace all of its self-contained breathing apparatus units. He said those are set to reach the end of their life span in 2019.
Additionally, Halmich requested $125,000 for technology upgrades. He said the fire department would like to have technology in their trucks similar to what police have in their cars.
All told, Halmich requested a total of $3 million for the fire department.
Community and Economic Development Director Sal Maniaci requested a total of $1.5 million for two projects.
The first project Maniaci presented is a new industrial park. He said the Heidmann Industrial Park is nearly full and the city needs to plan for the next step.
Maniaci said even if Heidmann doesn’t fill up, the city needs a bigger site to entice potential businesses. He said the recent trend has been for big sites that can handle 100,000-square-foot buildings.
To start the development of the new park, Maniaci requested $1 million. He said the city needs to have funds available when an industry signs on the dotted line to come to Washington.
The money would be used for community development block grants, infrastructure improvements or really just any sign to show a potential industry the land is developable.
The rest of the money requested, $500,000, was for airport improvements. Maniaci said there is an existing plan that shows potential airport expansion.
The plans call for a longer runway, more hangars and a new terminal. The new hangars are key, Maniaci said.
The current airport can’t house a jet overnight because it doesn’t have the hangar space. With a new, big hangar, and potential meeting rooms, Maniaci said the airport would be more welcoming for businesses. The airport plan calls for a $4.1 million renovation. Maniaci said $500,000 would help cover the cost of grants.
The presentations are set to continue at the next committee meeting.
The committee will meet Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 1 p.m. at the public safety building. On the agenda for the meeting are presentations from the library, fairgrounds, Downtown Washington, Inc. and American Legion about potential projects.
For public input, the committee will host a public forum Monday, Nov. 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. at city hall. A survey to suggest projects can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/5TDTLRB.