The city staff’s budget includes $24M for capital projects, Seth Rosen writes in the Progress, including the cost of the new pools, a Fontaine fire station, and the Downtown Mall structural overhaul, among other things. That’s a 12.6% increase over last year’s spending on capital improvements, part of an overall proposed 5% increase in the budget.
15 thoughts on “$24M in Capital Projects Proposed”
These are CIP projects suggested by Gary O’Connell. It is my hope that Council will rank them on their list of priorites for the next ten years before approving. The “Fontaine area” brand new fire station is quoted as being a priority for the fire department (as the new EMS program). Why? The fire department is a deliver of services not a recipient. If the fire station is for the increase construction by UVA in that area of the stadium and Fonatiane Research Park, then why is it not being asked to contribute half of the construction cost and a portion of its ongoing operational costs instead of just the City tax payer? Or, like the new EMS service, is it to enhance protection to the County residents living south of the City? Other than construction on the Dymond property, I don’t see any noticeable development in that area in the City limits. Thank goodness Mr. Ferrugio is a member of the Planning Commission and a resident of that neighborhood and is not known to rubber stamp.
I would like to see City Council take the bricks on the mall and stick them up…….. well, nevermind!
How about sticking the lobster trap on the east end of the mall along with the bus transfer station, taxpayer paid vacations to europe in the name of sister cities, and the list goes on…..up………………well never mind!!!!
Can anyone speak to the $8-10 fee that will be (or already is?) added onto our residential bill to pay for new/rehabilitated water and sewer pipes? Shouldn’t this project be paid for out of this surplus, rather than by all of us? Who can speak to the facts on this?
Violet, is that the fee they are calling the storm water management fee? If so, they have already decided that they are going to start collecting the fee although they have no idea how they are going to spend it. The City started stashing money away in “saving accounts” about a decade ago without knowing how it’s to be spent. Little accounts like Strategic Investments and Strategic Development that contained millions that the staff can not recollect how they were spent. It will be one of those fees that, after they have corrected the storm drain problems 10 years from now, they will still collect. It’s an invisible way of getting new revenues without raising the real estate tax rate (politically a bad idea generally) or re-evaluating the way current monies are spent, such as the $400k given to the hotels to attract conventions to the region. That way they don’t have to discuss priority spending and the phasing of projects like the obviously poorer surrounding counties do. Even if they privatize trash pick up, we will never see a budget reduction.
According to the background material posted on Charlottesville.org’s Council agenda for December 3, 2007, Gary O’Connell has changed his original recommendation to Council for the allocation of the now almost $7.1M in surplus to this current one: $5M to the Smith Pool project (covers about half of the current estimated costs) and $2,035,772 to the “CIP Contingency Fund” to be “programmed” by Council next year. How this fund differs from the Strategic fund, I have no idea, except that they both are used as savings accounts for unspecified projects in the future and means that it still is a budgetary necessity in O’Connell’s mind to not reduce the real estate property tax rate by at least four cents per one hundred dollars of value. This is a “tax now, save and spend in the future” budgeting process. Usually contingency funds are often used to cover costs overruns so that the staff has no reason to keep an eye on construction costs. It serves as no benefit to the tax payer.
We live in Fry’s Spring off JPA and it only takes 4 to 6 minutes for Fire rescue to get here from 5th street in an emergency. This is the far corner of the city. Where is a fire station on Fontaine going to improve response time in city limits? Or will a station here really be for UVA and any new construction south and west of town.
We need a new park on this side of town, not a new fire station. Tonsler park is riddled with drug implements and shady characters. Azalea park is essentially used by the county folks and is poorly designed. My tax dollars need to improve my standard of living, and great parks do just that!
To all of you who enjoy our park system you had better get on the ball and get the YMCA project at McIntie Park stopped. The building and parking lot will absolutely destroy the park as we now know and enjoy….
The YMCA wants to build a big box and have lots and lots of asphalt around it to park your vehicles….Not a pretty sight for McIntire Park….
Imagine the city buses running through the park to the Y at least every hour, and possibly every half hour, to transport the kids from the south side of town. Noise and pollution an the west side and noise and pollution on the east side. Why not just build a factory on the site and collect taxes instead of spending them?
McIntire Park(inglot) already exists,as far as that section of the park goes. So the YMCA will only make a bad situation worse.
Also, what will happen to the space where the Dogwood Festival sets up its carnival if the Y builds? Haven’t heard from those folks yet.
The Dogwood Festival is our longest and most beloved celebration,do we want to jeopardize its major source of fundraising which I understand the carnival is.
Yeah, it could move elsewhere, but the carnival at McIntire is a long tradition. Hate to see an ugly building in its space.
Good point, Holowboy. Maybe they can put the Festival at PVCC on the free land that has been offered to the YMCA. Then, the City can provide free bus service for everybody to the Festival. Let the bulldozing of trees and grading began!
If interested, go to http://charlottesville.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=144 to watch the discussion on the Smith Pool demolition/reconstruction project. Move the scrubber slider to about 2 hours into the meeting.
Did anybody notice that Jim Tolbert estimates that the east-end Mall crossing has a $950,000 price tag according to the Hook at http://www.readthehook.com/blog/index.php/2007/12/12/mall-crossing-lewis-demands-recuse-crossing-opponents-lose/ ?
Ah, the ever-growing City budget. In addition to Gary O’Connell’s plans for hiring two assistant city managers to manager people who are currently being managed by Mr. Watts (COO/CFO) at $100k a pop, he is proposing on Monday evening to get Council to authorize the hiring of a person to serve as administrative staff to the CAHIP group and supervise the CDBG housing administrator (what ever that is). This is after giving the Housing Authority about $50,000 to conduct some kind of study. But the biggest expenditures to the tune of $1M will come from the recommendations from a committee that met in secret to discuss the new EMS sevices to be provided by the Charlottesville Fire Department. Although the committee admits that the EMS service is currently quite adequate for the City of Charlottesville, it is recommending the most expensive option for “improvement,” as detailed in its statement buried deep in its report in the one all-revealing sentence ” Significant expense to improve an ambulance response time that currently meets an
appropriate performance standard.” I repeat “…that currently meets an
appropriate performance standard.”
I’ve noticed that Mr. O’Connell is asking Council to approve line items in his yet-to-be-proposed budget so that this inexperienced-in-budgeting Council will not be able to consider them in light of the budget impact in its entirety. He did effectively this with the contract to put in a new website. It also helps that two of the people looking at his proposal on Monday night will not be voting on the budget in April.
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