After working on a plan since October, Washington’s capital improvement sales tax committee presented its final list of potential projects to the city council.
At Monday’s administration/operations committee meeting John Vietmeier, tax committee chairman, informed the council about the committee’s decision.
The sales tax committee recently came to an agreement on a potential project list. The committee agreed, with some funding assistance from other sources, it would be possible to fund 32 projects proposed by various department heads and organizations.
The city’s half-cent capital improvement sales tax expires this year. Voters will be asked April 3 to approve an eight-year extension of the tax.
City Administrator Darren Lamb said, if approved, the city would likely have between $16 million and $16.5 million to complete projects.
The sales tax committee has met for months and trimmed down the project list from nearly $25 million to approximately $16.3 million.
The committee’s list of 32 projects is a guideline of what could possibly be funded if certain projects were earmarked a set amount of money.
Some project costs were trimmed by shrinking the scope of the work, but other funding cuts were based on the hope civic groups might help make up the funding gap. Using funds from the city’s budget to offset project cuts also was discussed.
Vietmeier said the committee and city officials worked hard fine-tuning the list.
The list of projects will help the committee tell voters about what projects could be funded. The list is not final and projects on the list aren’t guaranteed to be done since the city council has the final say over exactly how the money is spent.
The biggest project is a $4 million allocation for a new pool. Vietmeier explained the committee talked about the pool for weeks before settling on both a price and scope of the work.
He said the committee agreed $4 million would at the very minimum help replace the existing outdoor pool and a portion of the money could be used to explore the need for an indoor facility.
Councilman Steve Sullentrup asked Fire Chief Bill Halmich why a new fire station would cost a proposed $2.1 million. Sullentrup said the previous two fire stations comparable to the one being proposed cost under $1 million.
Halmich said things change and things are now more expensive.
Following that, the council agreed to forward the list on to be discussed at a future council meeting.
The sales tax committee is next set to meet Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 1 p.m. to talk about how to market the sales tax.
The projects supported by the committee include storm siren replacements, a new fire station, a new fire truck, new breathing equipment for firefighters, technology upgrades for firefighters, Missouri Statewide Interoperability Network project for public safety;
Infrastructure for a new industrial park, airport improvements, parks facility roofing upgrades, Lions Lake pavilion upgrades; a new Phoenix Park playground;
Phase 2 of the skate park, a new Krog Park playground, a storage facility for public works and the parks department, sanitary sewer slip lining, a roof for the main stage, fencing for the fairgrounds;
Ronsick Field improvements, technology improvements for the city’s computer network, utility burial for Downtown Washington, paver replacement for downtown intersections, depot maintenance projects, a downtown Wi-Fi network, waterworks building maintenance;
New light standards downtown, a paving project for a new riverfront park, rehabilitation of the city auditorium, replacement of the city pool, repairing the Hillermann tennis courts and restrooms, a new water tower and energy-efficiency projects.