Thursday, July 21, 2011

2012-2016 Mayor's Recommended CIP Observations Series #2

The Mayor presented the 2012-2016 Recommended Capital Improvement Plan. I decided to take a look at this recommended plan versus the current 2011-2015 CIP to see where priorities have shifted and where the programmed sales tax funding is going to be spent in the future. Here are some of my observations:

  • The 49th Street Extension Project is a new project in the recommended plan. The summary says this project was top priority identified in the 41st Street Corridor Study to assist with the traffic flow on 41st Street. This street will be a major east/west arterial alternate route. $500,000 for engineering is programmed for 2016. Top priority when only engineering costs programmed in the 2016? No relief for the 41st Street Corridor traffic seems to be on the horizon.

  • The Major Street Reconstruction Program total increased by $6.5 million. However, program year to program year over the previous plan tells an interesting story. Program years 2012 and 2016 sales tax money for reconstruction was increased over the previous plan, but program years 2012, 2014 and 2015 all were decreased in funding over the previous plan. Maybe to free up money to pay those annual event center bond payments?

  • McCart Field and parking lot Project is not in the plan. Why not? What will be the cost associated with this project? The mayor stated this project would move forward whether the Event Center did or not.

  • Event Center project does not show programmed construction costs for each year of the plan. A major project driven by the administration and it's not even in the recommended plan. Why not?

  • The River Greenway Improvements Project had $1.8 million programmed in the 2011-2015 CIP to construct improvements on the east bank of the Big Sioux River using other financing (Big Sioux Environmental fund). The plan showed $25,560 programmed for 2014. The 2012-2016 Mayor's Recommended CIP shows $1.06 million programmed in 2012 for this project using sales tax. Was this project money not spent in 2011 and moved out to 2012 or is this new programmed sales tax money for the project? The recommended plan before the council says a Downtown TIF will be evaluated and may be used to supplement funding of this project. If TIF becomes available, the CIP will be amended. It seems funding for this project is all over the place. Is this project still being worked or is it in limbo?

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