The Waupaca Common Council learned during a weekend retreat just how much money it would take to do capital projects of the highest priority.
The council spent about eight hours over the course of Jan. 14-15 at Fox Valley Technical College for the retreat.
Such retreats have become an annual event for the council, with this year’s discussion centering on a ranking of capital projects for 2011 and 2012, and how much would have to be borrowed to do the projects.
“We didn’t officially say we’re going to borrow money. This was giving an idea of if we did these projects, how much it would cost,” Mayor Brian Smith said at the close of the retreat.
By the end of the retreat, the majority of the council agreed to whittle down the almost 40 capital requests to 10 of the highest priority.
The total estimated cost of those 10 projects is about $820,000 and includes such things as $400,000 for street rehabilitation, $125,000 for a new snowplow truck, $75,000 for the Pleasant Street utility project, and $75,000 for the 10th Street sewer project.
The council was also in agreement that other capital requests, such as street sign replacement, sidewalks, the replacement of an office copy machine, annual cement and asphalt work, and wiring for computers in the library should be cash funded, not part of a borrowing.
Mike Koles, of the Waupaca County University of Wisconsin-Extension office was the facilitator, guiding the council through the process of evaluating the capital requests and then ranking them.
Next, City Administrator-Clerk Henry Veleker will meet with Koles to compile the results of the retreat for a report to the council.
Smith said there will be discussion about capital and the possibility of a borrow at the committee level before going before the council.
The mayor did say that if the city does decide to borrow money for capital projects, it is anticipated that the borrow would occur in August or September of this year.
Some members of the council are concerned about the timing of a borrow.
Alderman Dave Shambeau said that perhaps some of the capital requests can be put off until 2013 when the city’s debt will drop.
One capital request that some members of the council believe needs to get under way is the 10th Street sewer design and project.
Director of Public Works John Edlebeck told the council there are probably six to eight sewer backups per year there.
“It needs to be done,” he said.
Alderman Steve Hackett agreed. “It’s critical. I live in that area, and I know what it’s like,” he said.