City Council votes 3-2 to adopt Capital Improvement Plan for fiscal years 2014-2019

By: By Jill Loya Lincoln News Messenger Correspondent
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 In a split vote Tuesday, Lincoln City Council approved Resolution No. 2014-122 that adopts the city’s annual Capital Improvement Plan for the 2014-2019 fiscal years.

The plan was brought back after councilmen directed staff to address concerns about the plan during the June 10 City Council meeting.

 The three voting in favor of the resolution Tuesday were Mayor Gabriel Hydrick, Councilman Stan Nader and Councilman Spencer Short. Councilmen Paul Joiner and Peter Gilbert voted no during the City Council meeting Tuesday night at the McBean Park Pavilion.

 Capital Improvement Projects include funding for city parks, streets, water, airport, public facilities, wastewater, drainage and solid waste, according to the report compiled by Gilbert Garcia, the city’s administrative services director.

 In addition to reviewing the proposed budget for the Gravity Sewer and Reclaimed Water Project, the Public Utilities Committee (PUC) considered the other projects in the Capital Improvement Plan and provided the following recommendations to staff:

   * Excess funds from the closeout of the Highway 65/Ferrari Ranch Road Interchange Project should be noted as a potential funding source for park improvements, once Caltrans closes out the project. This funding source will be included in the Capital Improvement Plan once the timeline and dollar amount of the proceeds are known.

* Before making the improvement described in Capital Improvement Plan Project No. 147- Existing water well improvements, staff should conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether it is more advantageous to complete the described upgrades or to complete a total well rehabilitation.

 Short recapped the two issues of the proposed Capital Improvement Plan that he wanted to ensure were addressed: the reclaimed water project and the cost benefits of making temporary improvements versus having permanent fixtures.

According to interim city engineer Jon Crawford, “We are still in the middle of these assessments as to whether making temporary improvements or replacing them with permanent fixtures is more cost effective. We can also use grant money for wells.”

Short asked city staff: “Is there money available in the fund balance?”

The city’s administrative services director, Gilbert Garcia, responded.

“The fund balance does have some available funds that can be used,” Garcia said.

Nader brought up another point.

“We are missing an important piece with reclaimed water,” Nader said. “We need to create projects to free up treated water for our citizens. Without water, our city would not exist.”

Hydrick also acknowledged the need for reclaimed water.

“It is prudent to find water resources for reclaimed and potable water,” Hydrick said.

Short agreed.

“Sometimes you have to make things happen and take an inherent risk,” Short said. “I am going to support this budget because this will allow us to get things done in our community.”

The next City Council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday July 8 at McBean Park Pavilion, 65 McBean Park Drive.

In other news, Nader asked, “How is Lincoln doing on water conservation? What are the water meter readings from last year to this year?”

Scott Miller, the city’s public services division manager, answered.

 "We use wells from PCWA and city wells and, as a whole, we are using more water but we have 254 new connections in Lincoln,” Miller said. “Since the governor asked residents to reduce water usage, Lincoln has reduced water usage by 18 percent."