Hilliard Northwest News

Capital-improvements budget likely to exceed $8M

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Hilliard Mayor Don Schonhardt presented the city's $8 million 2013 capital-improvements plan budget at the Nov. 26 meeting of Hilliard City Council's Finance and Administration Committee.

City Council on Nov. 19 adopted a five-year CIP for 2013-17. The plan and budget are considered by City Council separately.

An ordinance appropriating $8.3 million to fund the 2013 projects was withdrawn from the Nov. 26 City Council agenda because it did not meet advertising required for the associated public hearing.

The ordinance is expected to be heard at the next meeting of Hilliard City Council, set for 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, at the Hilliard Municipal Building, 3800 Municipal Way.

The projects would be funded with a combination of existing resources, the sale of notes, and revenue from outside agencies, Schonhardt said.

The city is expected to issue about $2.3 million in notes; $1.8 million will be sourced by special revenue; about $2.2 million will come from such sources as private developers; and about $1.3 million is revenue the city allocated for capital improvements. The remainder of $644,000 would be from prior bond carryovers.

Sanitary-sewer improvements, at $2.2 million, and transportation improvements, at $2 million, are the largest allocations by category within the overall budget.

Almost $1.5 million of the sanitary-sewer budget is for construction of the Big Darby lift station, which would include a pump to move raw sewage to higher ground for disposal.

All other projects are less than $457,000 and include the rehabilitation of other lift stations, the annual sanitary-sewer cleaning program and a new sanitary-sewer extension to provide service to a future sports dome at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park.

About $1.1 million in the transportation budget is set aside for Hilliard's annual street maintenance and rehabilitation program.

The budget for lands and buildings is $1.2 million and includes $784,000 for facility upgrades at Municipal Park required in advance of a privately developed sports dome to be built inside the park.

Another $200,000 -- more than usual -- is set aside to compensate for the loss of city trees to infestation by the emerald ash borer, Schonhardt said.

The budget for stormwater management is almost $1.4 million, with $1 million earmarked for the replacement of the Cosgray Road Bridge over Clover Groff ditch.

The city will be reimbursed some of the cost through an Ohio Public Works Commission grant.

Other CIP purchases for 2013 include new police cruisers ($262,000), light trucks ($120,000), police vests ($20,000), new desktop and laptop computers ($41,500), water-tank repainting ($205,400) and upgrades to the city's computer network ($34,500).

The budget includes no funding for the future Hilliard Station Park.

The park, celebrating the city's railroad heritage, is to be built on the site of the former Russell Co. grain silos that were demolished in 2009. The park will be at the corner of Main and Center streets, opposite First Responders Park.

Schonhardt said the city will revisit the CIP budget at the end of the first quarter next year to determine if any initial funding for the park is possible in 2013.

Also at the Nov. 26 committee meeting, members of City Council reviewed their own budget.

Department directors had presented budgets at the Nov. 19 committee meeting.

City Council's budget is $328,000, an increase of $25,000 attributable to a higher amount Council President Brett Sciotto suggested be added to community programs, including the Hilliard Youth and Family Commission, the Environmental Sustainability Commission, the Hilliard Food Pantry and other community-based and civic associations.

"(But) I'm advancing something unique this year," Sciotto said.

Rather than allocate community program funds in advance, Sciotto suggested the revenue be dispersed as requesting agencies demonstrate projects that further the goals of the city's mission statement and vision.

Councilman Al Iosue said he supported the idea and other members of City Council appeared to support it.

 

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