Archive for Wednesday, August 6, 2003

City official focuses on future projects

August 6, 2003

This summer, City Administrator Shane Krull crunched numbers far beyond the 2004 city budget.

Last week, Tonganoxie City Council members approved the budget for the upcoming year, outlining city projects.

Included in the 2004 budget is $4.4 million for construction of a new wastewater treatment facility and $2 million for finding an alternative water source for the city -- if a water-sharing agreement with Rural Water Districts 6 and 9 never materializes.

Last week, Krull also provided to council members tentative annual budgets through 2014.

And although some projects won't happen for a few years, others have specific target dates. For example, Krull is earmarking 2006 as the year to perform nearly $200,000 worth of work on Fourth Street east of Pleasant.

In addition, the administrator set construction work on Village Street for 2007, at a cost of $159,971.

"Some of the projects that are one to three years away we can utilize current values and inflation to determine the price," Krull said. "Those that go toward the end of 10 years have the same methodology but don't seem to be as accurate."

In 2009, a new fire station in north Tonganoxie has a $500,000 allotment, while arterial improvements to either Leavenworth County Roads 25 or 1 carries a $650,000 estimate.

Whether the fire station will become a reality depends on how much the city's population grows in the next six years. And the road improvement hinges on whether a Leavenworth County interchange ever is constructed on the Kansas Turnpike.

The KTA project could be further down the road than six years, however.

"The county road improvement is 10 years or so out on their planned activities," Krull said about the county's forecast. "It's a little more optimistic on our part than the reality will be."

Projects can be difficult to predict, unlike equipment purchases, which also dot the budget in various years in the next 10 years.

"In terms of the equipment-type items, vehicles and equipment it's easy to identify the life cycles of those pieces of equipment and plug them in for different intervals of replacement," the city administrator said.

A major project that could be included in the 2006 budget is a new city hall/community center. The project, estimated to cost $600,000, would be funded through debt repayment and grants. A few years ago, members of the community discussed a community center, but at that time it was decided that the building would be too expensive, Krull said.

But if the city hall staff outgrows its current location, it might make sense to revisit the issue, he said.

Regardless of what projects and plans Krull plugs into future budgets, whether they become reality comes down to a single deciding factor.

"Each year it would take the approval of the governing body," Krull said.

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