by TaLeiza Calloway
Initial planning for the 2013 budget year in St. Joseph focused on improving the city’s infrastructure.
City council members on Aug. 2 analyzed a proposed priority list of capital improvement projects that have been planned for years but have not moved forward for budgetary reasons. City Engineer Randy Sabart and St. Joseph Public Works Director Terry Thene prepared the list for council review. The next step is to determine what projects will be funded.
St. Joseph City Administrator Judy Weyrens said the purpose of going over the list was to get some guidance from council members as staff prepares for budget planning.
“We wanted to look at the large projects to see ‘What does the council see as a priority?’ ” Weyrens said.
Potential projects staff wants to move forward include bituminous-overlay improvements to help ensure longer life spans for city streets.
“We are falling behind schedule on these improvements,” Sabart said.
Other proposed plans to be considered include:
- Interior and exterior maintenance to the city’s water tower. In 2011, an assessment was completed to see if the paint on the water tower could be re-coated, but it was determined it wasn’t strong enough, Sabart told elected officials. Staff proposes a complete re-coating. Though slated for 2014, the proposal is to start planning for work next year. The 2013 budget proposal is to update the feasibility report and possibly reappraise the project
- Alley improvements to the city’s central business district. Sabart said this was moved up the priority list from 2014 to 2013 due to recent talks about construction of new city offices and a community center.
- Infrastructure improvements in the Clinton Village neighborhood. Streets in that area of town are approaching the 30-year mark. The development was constructed in 1983.
- Concerns about sidewalk access from Northland Drive down to CR 75 caused staff to replace the project on the city’s radar before crafting next year’s budget.
At the Aug. 16 meeting of the council, officials are expected to discuss the proposed 2012 general budget and tax levy. The deadline for cities and counties to certify proposed tax levies is Sept. 15. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph City Hall.