Council, planning commission approve CIP

ALPENA — A special session of Alpena Municipal Council and the Alpena Planning Commission was held Thursday to approve the annual capital improvement plan. Both boards voted to adopt it and now the projects will be considered when the city does its budget.

According to Planning and Development Director Adam Poll, department heads prioritized needs for the next six years, but the plan can be amended each year as needs and circumstances change.

There are two projects for next fiscal year for the equipment fund. One is for a backhoe/loader for $150,000 and an engineering vehicle for $20,000. There is nearly $1 million worth of needs requested for the parks this year, two of which are sure to be funded. The splash park at Starlite Beach and the dog park at North Riverside Park. There also is a request for $110,000 for restroom improvements and $182,000 for shoreline improvements along Thunder Bay River.

Poll said just because a project is proposed does not mean it will be done right away and for some it may take years before they become a reality.

“We go through the standard city budgeting process and figure out how much money we can allocated to CIP,” Poll said. “Unfortunately there is never enough money to cover the cost of all of the projects, so we have to choose which ones we can afford and are the highest priorities.”

Police Chief Joel Jett requested replacement patrol vehicles for the department which could cost $84,854 and taser purchases for $5,000.

For local street projects there were $433,000 in projects proposed, including a special assessment project on Merchant Street, $150,000 for Paxton spur bike path improvements and $75,000 on overlay maintenance throughout the city. Another $35,000 is being asked for for high use alley paving.

Major local streets projects for next fiscal year could include an improvement to the intersection at Wilson and Johnson Streets, reconstruction of the intersection at 11th Avenue and Park Street and $241,000 for a full reconstruction of Miller Street. A $500,000 water project for Miller Street also is requested.

Some of the larger water and sewer projects proposed include a sewer main replacement on Miller Street for $375,000 and new sewage flow meters for $250,000. A $195,000 water main replacement project on Park Place is requested and $290,000 worth of metering upgrades at Alpena Township connection points.

Poll said typically the money from general fund is spread around, but public works, roads and water needs often are higher priorities than some other things.

“Major and minor roads always have to be a priority, as is public safety and we always want to make sure they are fully equipmed and ready to do their job,” Poll said. “There are a lot of different department with a lot of different needs and only so much money to go around.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.


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