A few highlights from our CIP workshop at the end of last week:

Most of our discussion focused on non-Utility capital improvements. We decided to do a separate workshop later in the fall (with the appropriate staff) to focus on that program given that most of those improvements are very technical. A list of some of the bigger items we talked about are below. Note that we didn’t “approve” any of these projects, but simply gave the go-ahead to staff to begin planning for these projects. These will still come back to Council for approval before they are funded :
-The Phase I Rocky Branch Park improvements that will construct a multi-use trail through Rocky Branch Park. The Tarheel Trailblazers have already done some significant fundraising for this project, so we’re looking at providing a match (of about $46k) to what they’ve raised.

-The new Recreation Center. We are looking into the feasibility of also including funding for a skate park and splash pad in the loan that funds the Rec Center. The final loan for the Rec Center will likely be about $11MM, and the costs of those two projects are small enough that they are unlikely to significantly impact our annual debt service (i.e. the difference in payments on a $11MM loan and a $11.5MM loan is relatively small, especially since interest rates are so low). We asked staff to develop some cost estimates for the annual maintenance involved with a skate park and a splash pad to get a better idea of what the total cost of ownership for those two projects would look like.

-We also talked about purchasing a new bus. The good news on this item is that the cost of a new bus is a little bit lower than what we thought it was going to be (about $90k for a 25-passenger, handicap accessible bus). We’re still looking at a couple options regarding financing it (including using proceeds from a $75k land sale to offset the cost), but the lower cost makes that effort significantly easier.

-We also briefly talked about the Dog Park that the DBDA is fundraising for. This was another project where we want to make sure we understand the ongoing maintenance needs for the park (especially figuring out the best way to keep it clean, etc.).

If you have any questions (or thoughts) about these projects, let me know!

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