Archive for Thursday, March 1, 2007

Consensus effort IDs projects for CIP list

March 1, 2007

Prepared by two work sessions last month on what should be on the city's next five-year capital improvement list, the De Soto City Council will start its deliberations Thursday for what projects will be funded.

Council members and those sitting on the city's planning commission, park's board and economic development council met for a work session Feb. 8 and last Thursday to discuss what items should be included on the list. At the conclusion of the meeting, those four projects ranking highest on the list were:

  • A $1.5 million new public works shop.
  • The downtown streetscape improvements to 83rd Street from Peoria to Shawnee for $700,000. The improvements were recommended in the downtown revitalization plan developed last year.
  • The repaving of 83rd Street from Kill Creek to the east city limits. With Johnson County assistance, the project would cost the city $1 million.
  • Development of a park on the city's property near the boat ramp for $638,000.

As a preface to the workshops, City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle provided them with a list developed by city staff and information on what the city could afford.

Excluding projects for the water and sewer departments, the city could do about $6 million in capital projects the next five years without affecting the mill levy, Guilfoyle said. Dedicated revenue streams for the water and sewer departments would provide about $1.5 million of improvements to those two utilities, Guilfoyle said.

The two meetings put a focus on a consensus agreement by dividing the participants into three groups and asking each to come to consensus on what projects should be included. The groups were asked to include $6 million in general fund capital improvement and $1.5 million for the two utilities.

Once that was done, Guilfoyle asked all individual participants to list the projects they wanted on the list. He then scored the projects, giving two points to projects on consensus lists and one point for those individuals listed.

The four projects listed above were the only projects to collect more than 20 points. Their estimated total of $3.84 million would leave room for a good number of the 12 projects that finished among a scoring logjam with 13 to 17 points. Those projects include $200,000 worth of replacement of guardrails and culverts to an equal amount spent on a roundabout for the 83rd Street and Kill Creek intersection.

The consensus process may have helped the council develop the list, but it will still be up to its members to determine what projects get funded the next five years. Guilfoyle said council members benefited from the inclusive process.

"I heard comments from council members saying, "I learned a lot about things I don't know about," Guilfoyle said.

Councilwoman Betty Cannon said those at the two workshops sat at different tables at each session, exposing themselves to more views. There was a thorough discussion of each proposed project, she said.

The process should make it easier for the council to agree on the final five-year CIP, Cannon said.

"There might be some things to consider, but we have the main ones," she said, agreeing the top-four projects should be completed in the next five years.

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