The city of Waupaca’s draft five-year capital improvement plan includes the reconstruction of Main Street, a self-checkout system in the library and a new floor in the Augie Austin Gym.
The city’s department heads presented their capital plans during the Jan. 21 meeting of the Common Council.
“They (staff) have been working very hard to bring you what they feel is necessary,” Mayor Brian Smith said.
The next step, the mayor said, is to discuss financing.
That discussion will include how much the city will borrow to pay for capital projects, how much will be covered in operational budgets, and which projects will be funded through grants and foundations, Smith said.
Brad Viegut, the city’s financial adviser, is scheduled to meet with the Common Council next month.
“We would like to get something in place if we do decide to do a borrow so that we can do some of them by the end of this year,” Smith said.
The plan was developed as part of the city’s discussion about a public works facility.
The five-year total project costs for tax supported borrowing is about $6 million.
In the Public Works Department, in addition to the reconstruction of Main Street and a new public works facility, the draft plan includes the replacement of equipment and street rehabilitation.
John Edlebeck, director of public works, told the council that in 10 of the last 13 years, the city spent less than $200,000 annually on street rehabilitation.
The city has about 40 miles of streets, and he proposes spending $200,000 annually in four out of the five years on street rehabilitation.
The one year that amount is not proposed in the draft plan is in 2016, when the reconstruction of Main Street is slated, at an estimated cost of $1.9 million.
The Public Works Department portion of the plan includes spending $234,000 this year to design a public works facility and then $2 million in 2015 on its construction.
In the last year, the city evaluated two vacant buildings as possible sites for such a facility. A decision has not been made by the council.
Among the pieces of equipment Edlebeck proposes replacing are a 1990 hauling truck in 2014 at a cost of $85,000 and a 2001 snowplow in 2017 at a cost of $135,000.
Parks and Recreation
In the Parks and Recreation Department, a new roof over the Augie Austin Gym is proposed in 2014 at a cost of $75,000.
“The (old) gym roof was not done when the rec project was done so it is over 25 years old,” Parks and Recreation Director Aaron Jenson told the council.
A new floor in that gym is also recommended for this year. The cost is estimated at $118,000.
Jenson reminded the council of how that gym had to be closed for over a month last summer due to safety reasons after the floor bubbled in the humidity.
“Obviously, we’re trying to create more programs, fill more gyms,” he said.
While the summer is a less usage period, that gym still gets used a lot, Jenson said.
The parks and rec capital plan also includes replacement of the lights at Lakemen Field.
Jenson said the current lights were installed in 1971. Their wood poles result in safety concerns during high wind situations, and he said the lighting is far below national standards.
He believes a lot of the cost, estimated at $175,000 for 2016, could be covered by grants and donations.
Among the pieces of equipment proposed to be replaced are a cemetery tractor ($35,000 in 2017), a cemetery mower ($10,000 in 2016) and a cemetery ground thawer ($5,000 in 2016).
The proposed five-year capital plan for the Waupaca Area Public Library includes an Automatic Materials Handling system and installation of a self checkout system.
Library Director Peg Burington said the AMH system will result in a savings of staff handling time.
Of the self checkout system, she said it has been in the library’s plans for about 10 years.
Burington said the library held off on it, because in the past, the system could not be used on all library materials.
The cost of the project, scheduled to be phased in from 2014 to 2017 is $162,750. The Library Foundation has committed $27,000 in funding for the project in 2016.
Some of the cost is also to be covered through annual operating budgets.
Burington said the privacy of patrons is something no one talks about but a topic of training for all library employees.
She also said the new systems will result in less repetitive motions for employees. “We had two hand surgeries last year,” she said of her department.
The proposed capital items will free employees to do other tasks, with Burington saying customer service is something the library never wants to lose.
Police Chief Tim Goke told the council some of the capital items he proposes are small but had been pulled from his operating budget over the last few years so the city could meet the requirements for the Expenditure Restraint Program.
Among them are the replacement of two light bars at a cost of $3,500 in 2015 and the replacement of three Tasers in 2016 at a cost of $3,000.
The replacement of department squads are also scheduled in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Their costs $35,000, $25,000 and $32,000 respectively.
City Administrator Henry Veleker told the council $200,000 is included in 2015 for the renovation of City Hall and the library.
That project would include carpeting, HVAC and interior and exterior painting.
Also included in the draft capital plan are two new voting machines in 2015 at an estimated cost of $10,000 and utility and financial software that same year at cost of $30,000.
Development Director Brennan Kane proposes a plotter/large format copier in 2015. Its cost is estimated at $12,000. He said the item would also be used by other city departments.