Linden — Linden City Council is working to identify capital improvement projects (CIP) for the next few years.
On Monday, July 12, Thomas Trice, interim public works director, presented the council with two different plans for capital improvement projects to upgrade facilities, the water system, sewer, roads, parks, the cemetery and more.
The first plan is a five-year plan, 2021-2025, with a cost estimate of $23 million. The second is a 10-year plan with a cost estimate
of nearly $29 million. These costs are estimates and the council has not definitively decided on all of these projects, except for the new water system meters and a few road repairs.
“These are not wants. These are community needs that at some point are going to have to be addressed,” Trice said.
City Manager Ellen Glass said any work will be done in conjunction with the master plan. They’re working on a financial analysis with the sewer and water systems. She said previously, there was a lack of planning for CIP needs. “It’s overwhelming when you look at it actually, but it does help to create that picture of where we’ve got to start focusing,” Glass said.
2021 budget year
The plan lays out how in this year, the council could begin providing new facilities for city hall and the DPW by building facilities for both. This would cost an estimated $250,000. The new water meters and system, costing $521,000, is included in this year, as well as addressing water pressure and capacity issues for another $50,000. Trice also included a water main replacement for this year costing $60,000.
A study determined that there are five locations where the sanitary sewer system needs repair. These upgrades would cost $93,000. Also included in the 2021 budget year is $100,000 budgeted for the maintenance and crack sealing of local streets. The council decided in April to repave Hickory Street for $184,000.
The 2021 funding comes to an estimated $1,258,000.
2022 budget year
Securing funding to design and build facilities would cost approximately $250,000. Construction could begin on water pressure/capacity issues with a cost estimate of $2 million. A water main replacement would cost $1.5 million. A water main on Ripley Road, north of Silver Lake Road, would cost approximately $20,000.
Continuing the maintenance for local roads would cost $50,000. Bridge Street, north of E. Rolston Road, has been identified as a road to fix for about $50,000 plus other grants. The city has applied for grants to fix a section of Rolston Road and Main Street. Approximately $750,000 is identified for road costs this budget year.
The plan also includes bringing forth a potential road millage to voters, which would collect an estimated $7 million over the course of a few years. In the 2022 budget year, this could bring in $600,000. Plans include $500,000 to be spent on Mill building repairs and $75,000 for local parks.
The 2022 funding comes to an estimated $5.7 million.
2023 budget year
Facility upgrades would continue for a new city hall, police/fire facility for approximately $6 million. The water meter reading systems cost an estimated $20,000, and other water system costs come to more than $2 million. Sewer repairs would cost $25,000, and continuing road maintenance would also cost more than $2 million.
The plan says that the cemetery needs a larger maintenance building, paved roads, a new water system and more. Cemetery costs are an estimated $75,000.
The 2023 funding comes to an estimated $10 million.
2024 budget year
This year continues with $3 million for facilities, $1 million for water system upgrades, $650,000 for road upgrades and $75,000 for parks.
The 2024 funding comes to an estimated $5.2 million.
2025 budget year
This plan identifies approximately $100,000 for the water system, $25,000 for sewer repairs, $650,000 for roads and $75,000 for the cemetery.
The 2025 funding comes to an estimated $860,000.
Mayor Danielle Cusson said the main concern is how they pay for these projects. She mentioned a scoring and ranking system to identify which project to do. Glass said that can be done by a CIP committee.
Trice said the community will have to get involved. One of the most important things is securing property for a city hall and DPW building. He said this community has doubled in size since 2000, and they have to plan for that.
Councilor Heather MacDermaid said, “I see this as a bit of a wish list, but I think it’s fantastic. This is what we needed so we can look at this and read it and say, what do we need to do? How can we do them?”
The other councilors agreed.
“My concern is how we finance it all,” said Councilor Ray Culbert. “It’s going to be a critical issue. Now the next step is, how do we plan on financing all of this? What are the options?”
They’re anticipating a U.S. infrastructure bill to be passed, and they hope to receive some funding from that.