Public opinion sought on capital plan

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL

The public will have the chance to give its opinion on the City of Washington?s plans for maintenance projects over the next five years after the Washington City Council set the public hearing for the FY 2019-23 capital improvement plan for its Jan. 16 meeting.

During the regular meeting Tuesday, the council also approved a proposed update to the plan as the yearly budgeting process is coming up. The total for the five-year plan is $27 million, however slightly more than half the projects are already in motion, including the water plant, fire station, wellness park and southeast water basin.

?It is an update of the capital improvement plan,? city administrator Brent Hinson said. ?We try to do it every year, but it always get done every year. We had updated it last year but the finished update didn?t get done until March so we are doing this process again slightly less than a year later.?

Hinson said that 2018 is going to be a ?busy year for projects,? saying the city plans to complete the water plant improvements, complete the Well 6 improvements, begin construction of a new fire station, begin phase one of the wellness park, a joint trail project with Washington County Conservation, and a $1 million sewer project. Hinson said the city plans to apply for a Community Development Block Grant to pay for $600,000 of the sewer project.

Fewer projects are scheduled for 2019. The city will work on South Avenue E reconstruction from Sitler to Lincoln and get ready for the West Buchanan project from Highway 1 in FY 2021. There also will be a sewer evaluation of the egg sewer basin, or the main sewer at the center of town. The city also plans to begin the East Washington sidewalk project.

FY 2020 will see a project with improvements to North Fourth Avenue and replacement of the South Avenue B water mains. This is also the year city hall and police department renovations are scheduled. A major sewer project is planned in the egg sewer basin.

Hinson said in FY 2021, the city plans to finish repairs on South 12th and East Tyler. A project on this area had begun in 2014. He said FY 2022 is a lesser project year, but would include a water main replacement on South Fourth Avenue. He explained this is a choke point in water infrastructure and will hopefully increase water pressure along Jefferson Street. He also said the entire sewer system should be evaluated by this time.

In FY 2023, Hinson said the city plans to expand the streetscape project beyond a block off the square.