Friday, July 9, 2010

Ketchum plans for the future

City Council looks at capital projects needed in next 5 years

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum began on Tuesday to plan its capital projects for the next five years.

Capital projects, like buying a fire engine or building a new facility, usually involve high costs and last a long time.

Randy Young of Henderson, Young & Co., a Redmond, Wash.-based management consultant frequently hired by the city, put together a draft of the city's capital projects plan after discussing immediate needs with department heads. The preliminary plan calls for 66 projects costing a total $32.9 million.

The council now needs to decide which projects it thinks are imperative and need to be included in the plan. But the council members will have until August or September to reflect and talk with departments. The next meeting on this won't come for a month or two.

Young said projects worth $10.8 million would already be funded through money in hand or revenue expected from things such as impact fees and water fees. Cities impose impact fees on new development because the impact of the population growth creates increased demand on public infrastructure such as sewer, water, fire protection and parks.

Young said $20.3 million worth of the projects have "potential funding," meaning money the city can get but requires one or more steps beyond the council's control, such as issuing a bond or applying for a grant. A bond would require voter approval. Potential funding could also come from increasing impact fees.

Young proposed that $9 million in projects be funded by bonds, if the council wishes to move forward with them. Those involve replacing the fire station, police station and City Hall.

Young also proposed that about $6 million in potential funding could come from increasing impact fees to fund street improvements and a new fire engine. The remaining $5 million in "potential funding," also for streets, could come from federal grants.

About $1.8 million of the projects have no funding source. Young said those are the department heads' "Dear Santa lists" and have little chance of happening unless an unforeseen source of money comes into play.

Trevon Milliard:

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