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Elkhorn to consider capital projects

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Pedro Oliveira Jr.
August 16, 2009
— The Elkhorn City Council on Monday takes up discussion on a series of capital projects that could cost the city almost $6.3 million in 2010 and $27.6 million over the next five years.

The projects include utility, street, park and sewer improvements and reconstructions. They are part of Elkhorn’s aggressive annual capital project schedule, included since the introduction of the city’s capital improvement program in 2000.


City Administrator Sam Tapson said Elkhorn officials already have some funds budgeted for the projects, including the construction of a new police headquarters expected to cost $1.2 million. Overall, Tapson expects the city to need up to $3 million of borrowed money to complete the projects.


“We’re looking at projects that staff has determined worthy of consideration on a five-year capital improvement program,” Tapson said.


“We’re asking the council to review and consider which ones they consider to be priorities; which ones we missed, which ones we should include.”


Some of the projects officials are likely to tackle include building a new water plant to replace the current 78-year-old one.


And there’s the sewer system. Clean water apparently is leaking into sewer pipes, meaning about 40 percent more water is sent for treatment than necessary, wasting tax dollars.


Last year, Tapson said, the capital improvement process was minimalist in its approach.


“We wanted to finish projects that were already in hand or scheduled or tentatively scheduled without having to go on borrowing mode,” he said. “This year, we’re looking at adding a few and taking a few out.”


The city council on Monday is expected to decide which “we can reasonably budget for,” Tapson said.


CAPITAL PROJECTS

When the Elkhorn City Council meets at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 9 S. Broad St., it will consider capital improvement projects totaling nearly $6.3 million:


--$2.3 million for street and utility reconstruction of North Washington Street


--$1.2 million for a new police headquarters


--$950,000 for improvement of the northwest stormwater management system


--$780,000 for street and sidewalk maintenance of East Geneva Street


--$333,000 for electric utility work


--$275,000 for design of a replacement for the Centralia Water Plant


--$115,000 for park improvements


--$108,900 for police and municipal court computer software


--$100,000 for sewer utility projects



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