More than 200 people have weighed in on ideas for potential capital improvement sales tax projects.
Survey responses were unveiled at Tuesday’s Washington Capital Improvement Sales Tax Committee meeting. Director of Community and Economic Development Sal Maniaci said the majority of the responses backed parks improvement projects and only a small number favored eliminating the tax.
An eight-year extension of the city’s half-cent capital improvement sales tax will be on the ballot for the April election. If approved, the tax could generate between $12.6 million and $15.1 million for capital projects.
The city hosted a survey online and mailed out paper copies in utility bills to get citizen feedback. After more than a month collecting data, Maniaci presented some of the findings to the committee.
Since people could request multiple projects, he said more than 200 people supported almost 500 projects. The lion’s share of support, 49 percent, 231 responses, went to parks projects. Of that group, 78 people specified improvements to the city pool and 70 more wanted improvements to Ronsick field.
Maniaci said about 10 percent of people (48 responses) wanted some kind of downtown revitalization and 5 percent (21 responses) wanted riverfront improvement.
The police department’s request for new radios garnered 7 percent (35 responses) of the support. The fire department’s request for a new station, pumper and equipment had support from 8 percent (39 responses) of the respondents.
Only 13 people suggested eliminating the tax completely. Maniaci said of those, 11 were submitted via paper copy. The paper copy submissions also contained 12 responses to improve the landscaping along Highway 100.
The landscaping project was one not mentioned in prior committee meetings. Other projects not mentioned were leaf pickup (three responses), drinking water quality (11 responses) and riverfront docks (seven responses).
Maniaci said there also were 28 requests for sidewalk and street projects, but those aren’t usually paid for with capital improvement sales tax funds.
Revised Project Costs
The full list of projects and associated estimated costs can be found below.
• Downtown Wi-Fi: $10,000;
• Electric car charging station: $20,000;
• Water works repairs: $50,000;
• Train depot repairs: $60,000;
• New Downtown light standards: $75,000;
• Bury utilities Downtown: $285,000;
• Downtown intersection repairs : $250,000;
• Library computer replacement and security cameras: $20,000;
• Fairgrounds main stage roof: $400,000;
• Fairgrounds fencing: $100,000;
• Fairgrounds multipurpose building: $1,600,000;
• Ronsick Field upgrades: $360,000;
• New fire station: $2,100,000;
• New fire pumper truck: $525,000;
• Fire department equipment replacement: $250,000;
• Fire department technology upgrades: $125,000;
• New industrial park: $1,000,000;
• Airport upgrades: $300,000;
• Replacement weather alert sirens: $280,000;
• Police department radio upgrade: $824,000;
• City technology maintenance: $500,000;
• New water tower: $1,000,000;
• Sanitary sewer sliplining: $1,000,000;
• Public works storage facility: $200,000;
• Parks maintenance building: $200,000
• Aquatics complex/auditorium renovations: $6,350,000;
• Parks roofing projects, $75,000;
• Parks pavilion projects, $200,000;
• Phoenix Park Playground, $250,000;
• Skate park second phase, $150,000;
• Hillermman tennis court repairs, $150,000;
• Krog Park playground, $75,000;
• Riverfront park project, $250,000; and
• Energy efficiency projects, $1,000,000.