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Planning for future is scope of City Council workshop

August 5th, 2010

What capital equipment and improvements should receive priority for the City in the near future?

Gaylord’s City Council will try to get a better grip on that question when it discusses a proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) at a workshop meeting on Wednesday, August 4th (tonight).

City Administrator Kevin McCann reported this week that a draft of a CIP is complete. It was a joint effort between council members, various committees, city staff and department heads, he explained.

McCann said the CIP has been “a work in progress.” He says council members will now review and determine if they are comfortable with the plan.

According to McCann, the identified items in the CIP are based on long range planning documents, staff needs, committee needs, citizen needs and council needs.

There were no projects in the CIP listed as “urgent,” meaning failure to complete these projects would seriously jeopardize the City or its citizens.

Projects/capital equipment purchases seen as “very important” are those needed by a department/City to improve or maintain services to residents.

Projects listed as “very important” included civil defense siren replacement on west side of town, new rest rooms by the roller rink and a new aquatic center.

• The current civil defense siren on the west side of town is more than 30 years old and is beginning to fail. Also, a bigger siren should be erected to plan for future growth, according to the CIP.

• The restrooms near the roller rink are not American Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.

• A new aquatic center is scheduled to start after the 2010 swimming season. Gaylord’s current pool is more than 40 years old and deteriorating conditions led the City to look at options. Voters, by a 2-1 margin, passed a referendum in March to bond for a new pool.

Also seen as “very important” on the CIP draft were the following: squad car replacement, new grader for snow removal, new water tower, water tower rehab.

Among other capital equipment and improvements identified in the CIP draft included: mobile home park improvements, new pumper truck for fire department, community center, sidewalk development, MnDOT Hwy. 5/19/22 project/downtown improvements, street/utility improvements, Dakota Trail development, ice rink/warming house project, new park shelter, and radio read water meters. All of these fell into one of the following categories in the CIP draft – “important;” “less important;” “future consideration.”

According to McCann, the CIP is meant to be a planning tool. The goal is to review and update the CIP on an annual basis, he explained. He said the CIP differs from the City’s Comprehensive Plan in that it involves more short term goals. The Comprehensive Plan is more long-range, McCann explained.

McCann believes the CIP provides a good starting point for Gaylord’s future planning. An objective when developing the plan was to maintain debt levels at approximately 15%. This enables the City to maintain or minimally increase the debt service portion of the tax levy, McCann reported.

The City’s workshop meeting Wednesday will begin at 6:00 p.m. Other items on the agenda include: MnDOT’s Hwy. 5/19/22 street improvement project in downtown Gaylord; Local Government Aid (LGA) contingency planning; Minnesota Design Team update.

A regular City Council meeting will follow at 7:00 p.m.

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