Archive for Thursday, October 12, 2006

City to start new CIP process

October 12, 2006

City of De Soto department heads are putting together Christmas lists. But these lists will be forwarded to an office in the southwest corner of City Hall and not the North Pole.

The lists are a first step in developing a new five-year capital improvement plan for the city.

City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle told the De Soto City Council last Thursday that he was starting the planning process for a new capital projects list with two initiatives.

He had already started talking to department heads about projects they want on a new CIP, Guilfoyle said. That process would continue in the coming weeks as he met individually with the department heads. He would encourage them to come with a range of projects from "pie in the sky" dreams to ones easily attained, the city administrator wrote in a memo the council.

The De Soto Planning Commission, De Soto Parks and Recreation Commission and the De Soto Economic Development Council would be asked to whittle down the list before it is forwarded to the city council for consideration and final tweaking.

Once the list was determined, the council would review it with the two appointed commissions and the EDC to develop a priority ranking of projects. Guilfoyle said the goal was for the council to approve a final prioritized CIP in March 2007.

The other flank of the planning process would address revenue. That would involve obtaining performance forecasts of all revenue sources available for city projects and a policy for managing the city's debt, Guilfoyle said.

The final step on the revenue side would be restructuring of the city's existing debt. From his initial review, the city appears to have an opportunity of saving considerable money if it refinance its current debt, Guilfoyle said.

The goal of the revenue planning steps was to give the goal a clear understanding of what it could afford and make the CIP a meaningful document, Guilfoyle said.

City engineer Mike Brungardt put together a five-year capital improvement project list in 2002 after De Soto voters approved a 10-year 3/4--cent sales tax for infrastructure improvements.

Brungardt said he reviewed that list as he was compiling his suggestions for the next five years.

"I'm kind of surprised how many of those on that list have been knocked off," he said.

Among the projects finished in the last five years were the rebuilding of 83rd Street from Shawnee to Ferry streets, the enhancement of Lexington Avenue, resurfacing of Waverly Road, a new swimming pool, new sewer plant and parking lot improvements at Miller Park. Two other projects -- traffic signals at Lexington Avenue and Commerce Drive and extension of Golden Lane -- will be finished this fall.

In addition, Brungardt said many of the phase I improvements to the Sunflower water plant meant to stabilize that facility have been completed.

One big project left over from five years ago is the repaving of 83rd Street from Kill Creek Road east to the Lenexa line, Brungardt said. He predicted that would be carried over in the next CIP list.

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