Gahanna City Council will begin discussing a five-year capital-needs assessment during its next committee meeting Monday, Sept. 24.

Gahanna City Council will begin discussing a five-year capital-needs assessment during its next committee meeting Monday, Sept. 24.

Mayor Becky Stinchcomb told council the assessment is the culmination of months of work, particularly from the city's directors.

"We looked at the needs of the city for the next five years," she said. "You'll see initial and ongoing costs. This is the most important read you'll have this year. It's the first step to the appropriations."

Assistant city administrator Brandi Braun presented an overview of the assessment Sept. 10, before council was given the document to study during the next two weeks.

Braun said the assessment is the first step in a long-term planning process that would include council, public discussion and feedback.

It's expected to be affirmed or changed based on council feedback, the 2012 comprehensive resident survey and the 2012 Parks and Recreation Master Plan update.

After the needs have been verified, Braun said, the assessment will become Gahanna's capital improvement plan that would be revised and adopted annually. She said that would allow for strategic visioning, planning and financing.

Single items that meet the city's capitalization threshold, costing at least $5,000 and having a useful life of at last five years, are categorized as capital. However, Braun said, the city purchases some capital items that are needed to sustain existing operations and are not true improvements to the city's infrastructure or assets. Those items are categorized as operating capital and include the police-cruiser replacement program and miscellaneous street improvements.

Braun said projects or improvements that meet the city's capitalization threshold and enhance the city's infrastructure or assets are capital improvements.

Once the capital improvement needs of the city were identified, she said, each project was assigned a ranking as follows: Priority 1 (imperative, must-do projects); Priority 2 (essential, should-do projects); and Priority 3 (important, could-do projects).

Initial must-do projects over the next five years, including costs, are: Carpenter/Shepard signal upgrade, $40,000; Creekside Island-Mill Race bridge replacement, $60,000; Creekside Plaza repair, $1 million; fiber growth, $150,000; Hamilton Road Center (Carpenter Road to U.S. Route 62), $2.2 million; Hunters Ridge Pool boiler replacement, $15,000; Hunters Ridge pump replacement, $25,000; Legistar software upgrade, $25,000; Morse Road Columbus project (Route 62 to Trellis Lane), $334,000; room divider for committee rooms, $10,000; Safe Routes to School 2009 funding, $302,610; and Safe Routes 2012 funding, $36,000.

The Priority 1 projects total $4,273,611.

Priority 2 Capital Improvements and costs are: Academy Park field lights, $244,000; audio/visual upgrade to council chambers, $20,000; Buckles tract infrastructure development, $1 million; Carpenter Road culvert replacement, $315,000; Central Park infrastructure, $750,000; Creekside Island electrical upgrade, $175,000; Detroit-style street rebuild, $4.7 million; document imaging, $75,000; email system upgrade, $50,000; fiber-optic network expansion, phases 2-4, $275,000; Hannah-Headley maintenance building, $150,000; microfilm reader/printer, $20,000; multipurpose trails, including land and easement acquisition, $2 million; new front pool and facility improvements, $3.5 million; Office, Commerce and Technology District signs and gateways, $275,000; Oklahoma fiber extension, $60,000; Olde Gahanna street rebuild-Carpenter Road, $825,000; Olde Gahanna Walnut Street rebuild, $440,000; police department window and door renovation, $40,000; street sign post upgrade/replacements, $350,000; and traffic light and pedestrian light upgrades at various locations, $100,000.

Costs of Priority 2 projects total $15,446,000.

Priority 3 improvements and costs are: Academy Park basketball court, $60,000; Academy restroom and concession, $345,000; asset software management, $40,000; Bedford II (Bricklawn paving, Leavitt extension), $1.5 million; Gahanna canoe launch, $150,000; Headley soccer field rebuild and irrigation, $720,000; Hunters Ridge Pool entryway redesign, $15,000; Hunters Ridge Pool shade structures, $25,000; Microsoft Office upgrades, $100,000; new golf course clubhouse, $550,000; new operations complex, $3.1 million; Ohio Herb Education Center (OHEC) carriage house kitchen, $250,000; OHEC garden improvements and irrigation, $20,000; skate park elements, $30,000; South Stygler Road widening, $1 million; southwest floodplain/Veterans Park planning and construction, $3.7 million; Sycamore Run Park planning and development, $350,000; Tech Center-Taylor Station connection, $1 million; West Johnstown Road improvements, $2.3 million; and Woodside Green south bank stabilization, $25,000.

Total cost of Priority 3 projects is $15,460,000.