The Washington Capital Improvement Sales Tax Committee is set to start the new year looking to trim at least $3.2 million from its capital project list.
Since late October, 33 projects carrying an estimated $18,304,600 price tag have been presented to the committee. That number, and the number of projects needs to be cut in order to get under projected revenue figures.
If voters in April approve an eight-year extension of the city’s half-cent capital improvement sales tax, the city estimates it will generate $15.1 million in revenue.
The committee had been meeting weekly since Oct. 24, but it will take a two-week break for the holidays. The next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 1 p.m. in the city council chambers.
All of the weekly meetings thus far have been anchored by presentations and cost revisions. The city has spent weeks fine-tuning the estimate prices for its various projects.
City staff alone has cut costs from more than $26 million to $18.3 million.
At its Dec. 19 meeting, several committee members pointed out it hasn’t spent much time on its own discussing the projects. So far all the input has come from outside sources.
The committee agreed that, at its next meeting, it was time to start debating the potential projects and figure out what makes the cut.
The city council has the final say on what projects actually get funded, but the committee has been directed to pare down the list and make a recommendation. Committee Chairman John Vietmeier said it’s the committee’s job to figure out what projects are going to get voters excited.
The board agreed the next meeting would likely take more than an hour and would give each committee member a chance to weigh in on the proposed projects.
The city has broken down the projects into two groups. Based on a ranking system, the first group has an estimated cost of $16,459,600. The second group, considered lower priority by the city, raises the price tag to $18,304,600.
The top projects are:
• Replacement weather alert sirens: $280,000;
• New fire pumper truck: $525,000;
• Fire department equipment replacement: $250,000;
• Utility line burial Downtown: $285,000;
• Downtown intersection repairs: $200,000;
• Riverfront park project: $250,000;
• Police department radio upgrade: $824,600;
• New fire station: $2,100,000;
• New industrial park: $1,000,000;
• Train depot repairs: $60,000;
• Fire department technology upgrades: $125,000;
• Airport upgrades: $150,000;
• Downtown Wi-Fi: $10,000;
• Waterworks building repairs: $50,000;
• Aquatics complex/auditorium renovations: $5,000,000;
• Parks roofing projects: $75,000;
• Parks pavilion projects: $200,000;
• Ronsick Field upgrades: $350,000;
• City technology maintenance and library projects: $500,000;
• New water tower: $1,000,000;
• Public works and parks storage facility: $750,000;
• New Downtown light standards: $75,000;
• Phoenix Park playground, $250,000;
• Hillermann tennis court repairs: $150,000;
• Energy-efficiency projects: $750,000;
• Fairgrounds main stage roof: $400,000;
• Fairgrounds fencing: $100,000; and
• Sanitary sewer sliplining: $750,000.
The lower-priority projects are:
• Electric car charging station: $20,000;
• Skate park second phase: $150,000;
• Krog Park playground: $75,000; and
• Fairgrounds multipurpose building: $1,600,000.