Washington Evening Journal
http://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/956702

Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 30, 2014

$6 million improvements

City council discusses seven capital projects for the coming year
By David Hotle | Jan 31, 2013
Washington City Council members Bob Shellmyer, left, Bob Shepherd, Fred Stark and Merle Hagie and Mayor Sandra Johnson held a work session Wednesday evening to discuss the budget for the coming year.

As the Washington City Council reviewed the budget for FY 2014 during a work session Wednesday evening, about $6.4 million in capital projects were discussed. Arrangements are being made to discuss one of the projects at the regular city council meeting on Feb. 6.
Hinson said that the overall increase in the general fund will be about 2.5 percent, but the tax rate will remain the same. He said the levy will remain $15.82, but due to a change in the residential rollback, the state property taxes will rise a little. Hinson said that due to an expected  $1 per $1,000 in taxable valuation decline in the Washington School District’s levy, the overall tax bill may go down.
“There are various entities that all come together in one puzzle, so it is always difficult to predict what taxes will be,” Hinson said. “We can only speak to the city portion of the tax bill.”
The city’s general fund this fiscal year is about $18 million. The projected budget for FY 2014 is $19 million.
Hinson said that capital projects are one of the main reasons for fluctuation in tax amounts. He said that last year’s budget had $5.4 million in capital projects and this year has $6.4 million budgeted.

East Madison mill and overlay
The budget shows $75,570 that will be paid for with funds from the Washington County Riverboat Foundation to mill and overlay two blocks of East Madison Street. Hinson said the city had discussed doing the project last year, but had run out of funding. He said that the project is standard maintenance.

West Tyler Reconstruction
Hinson said that West Tyler will be reconstructed between C and E avenues. The cost of the project is expected to be $275,000. He said concrete curb-and-gutter will be used from Avenue C to Avenue E. He said this will be finishing the E Avenue project, which was held up because the city was considering drainage in regard to the project.

Country Club Road widening
Country Club Road on the south end of Washington will be widened at a cost of $60,000. Hinson said this is part of the Oakwood Subdivision project. He believes the overall result of the entire project will benefit the city.

13-31 Crosswind Runway Reconstruction
The budget has $3,700,000 budgeted for runway construction during the coming year. Hinson said that the project had been going on for about 10 years and the land was obtained using eminent domain. Council member Bob Shellmyer has asked that this project be put on the agenda to discuss at the coming regular city council meeting.

Ground Storage Replacement
The 1 million gallon Washington Aquarium located just south of the water plant is scheduled to be replaced this year at the cost of $1,382,000. Hinson said the existing aquarium is showing many structural defects, including large cracks around the outside. He said if the city doesn’t take action, the Department of Natural Resources could prohibit the city from using it.

Industrial Park phase 1 development
The $750,000 project is part of a southwest industrial park that will be located to the southwest of the new industrial plant. The first project of the 25-acre park will have the construction of a roadway from Highway 1 to Avenue E. Hinson said the area was chosen because it already has infrastructure.

Highland storm sewer, phase 3
The sewer is scheduled to be replaced on Highland Avenue at a cost of $145,000. Hinson said there were some drainage issues that remained after the development of Highland Park East in 2000. This phase of the project will finish the drainage to lower the water table a little.

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