December 20, 2013

The City of Carroll's five-year capital improvement plan foresees spending $30 million on projects with about two-thirds of the money slated for water system and streets improvements.

The plan, a draft document developed by city officials with consultation from council members and Mayor Adam Schweers, serves as a key guide in the budgeting process that will start early next year. The plan covers fiscal year 2015 - which starts July 1, 2014 - and runs through fiscal year 2019, ending June 30, 2019. Council members have to approve individual line items following bidding and other developments in coming years.

Over that time, the city expects to spend $12 million on streets projects. In the coming fiscal year, that would include $2.5 million in spending: $500,000 on improvements to the U.S. Highway 30 and Grant Road intersection; $1.4 million on street rehabilitation; $525,000 for the continuation of Corridor of Commerce upgrades; and $50,000 for planning and design of U.S. Highway 71 gateway features. The actual cost for construction for gateway features on the south and north sides of Carroll would be folded into the plan in coming years if elected officials decide to move forward with the effort.

The five-year plan features $3.2 million in spending on the water system - including $1.8 million in the next fiscal year for water supply improvements.

The wastewater system is in line for $7.3 million in upgrades.

Water projects are funded through user fees in the form of water bills to residences and businesses in Carroll.

City officials have used the plan to earmark an estimated $3.5 million in the coming fiscal year for a new or improved Carroll Public Library. Carroll's elected officials plan to take that funding request to the voters through a general-obligation bond referendum, which could come as soon as August, and would require a 60-percent super-majority of passage. Private donations are expected to factor into the complete financing package for whatever plan emerges from City Hall for a future library.

The city expects to spend $500,000 on improving Merchants Parks next fiscal year - and $1.1 million on a trails system over five years, with $500,000 expected to be spent next year on trails, likely in the eastern part of the city.

In fiscal year 2016, the city allots $1.4 million for a "lazy river" and tube slide at the Carroll Family Aquatic Center.

City Manager Gerald Clausen said $8.7 million will be included in the capital-project spending plan for the next fiscal year.

"The capital improvement plan is a plan that is intended to be carried out, but may be adjusted by the council from time to time to reflect a change in priority or an urgency or need to advance or drop projects from the plan," Clausen said.