With the approval of Roanoke’s fiscal 2014 budget back in September came a list of more than $4 million in capital improvement projects. These projects – which did not require any increase in taxes – are now in various stages of planning. Some of the projects’ construction could begin by early 2014.
This wealth of improvement projects is nothing unusual for Roanoke, City Manager Scott Campbell said.
“The 2014 CIP budget is similar to what it has been the last several years,” Campbell said. “The city has experienced positive growth in property values and sales tax each year and has been able to move forward with these projects with no increase to the tax rate.”
Included in the 2014 capital improvement list are various upgrades to streets, a waterline improvement program and the design portion of a planned new City Hall. “The majority of our CIP projects are related to street infrastructure,” Campbell said. “The city has maintained an aggressive plan over the last several years to address aged streets with complete reconstruction of subgrade, paving, and drainage to prolong their useful life.”
The road projects include:
Pine Street reconstruction. This $2.1 million project, funded by certificates of obligation, would consist of reconstruction of Pine Street from Lamar Street to Byron Nelson Boulevard. The roadway improvements include upgrading from a two-lane asphalt roadway with open ditches to a two-lane concrete roadway with curb, gutter, storm drain system and sidewalks. The city is in the design phase, which is approximately 70 percent complete with construction possibly starting next summer.
Marshall Creek subdivision roadway improvements (phase three). This $450,000 project, funded by certificates of obligation, includes reconstruction of Palm, Willow and Ivy streets. These roadway improvements include upgrading from a two-lane gravel roadway to a two-lane asphalt roadway with drainage ditch improvements. Design has been complete, and the city is acquiring drainage easements. Construction should start in the first quarter of 2014.
Oak Street extension (design only). This $350,000 project, funded with Development Corporation funds, will provide for design for the construction of Oak Street from the existing location at Crockett Street to Parish Lane and the section adjacent to City Hall. This project consists of roadway construction for both sides of the proposed City Hall complex and will be a two-lane concrete roadway with curb, gutter, storm drain system, new utilities and parallel street parking. It will all be designed to match the existing Oak Street design standards. The design will start this month with construction starting in winter 2014.
Street overlay project. This $571,500 project, which will be funded by existing CIP fund balance and certificates of obligation, consists of reconstruction of Lois, North Walnut and North Oak streets. These roadway improvements include subgrade repairs and asphalt overlay to extend the life of the existing roadways before they deteriorate beyond repair. Design will start in the first quarter of 2014 with construction beginning fall 2014.
Campbell said these road projects will result in high-quality surfaces that can last many years before any upkeep is needed. “The resulting benefits are good roads that last 20 plus years before requiring any significant maintenance, vs. eight to 10 years with simple overlays (with no base work).”
Roanoke City Hall design. This $500,000 project, funded by general fund revenues and certificates of obligation, will consist of the design of the new facility, including associated parking. The city will begin a needs assessment within the next few months, Campbell said.
Neighborhood vitality program (phase two). This $390,000 program, funded with certificates of obligation, will create an improved image for the older neighborhoods in Roanoke that is consistent with new residential development, Campbell said. The program includes screening walls at highly visible locations, including for the Meadows neighborhood along Cannon Parkway. Design will start in the first quarter of 2014 with completion in the summer.
Storm water utility fee implementation. This $150,000 initiative, funded with existing CIP balance, would allow Roanoke to implement a storm water utility fee and includes the study, rate calculations, public meetings, ordinance and updates to the city's utility billing system as necessary to implement the fee. “The average monthly fee for cities in the Metroplex is around $4 to $5 per month for residents,” Campbell said. “Commercial tracts are calculated based on impervious area or equivalent single family residential rates.” The city will hire a consultant to perform this study in first quarter of 2014.
Storm water management Plan (phase two). This $30,000 project, funded by existing CIP fund balance, will provide for the update of Roanoke’s storm water management plan in conformance with certain Texas Commission on Environmental Quality storm water regulations. The city has completed the first five years of the program, including all best management practices, Campbell said. The project will start in the first quarter of 2014.
Waterline improvement program. This $50,000 program, funded with existing CIP fund balance, will replace existing substandard waterlines with new 8-inch waterlines. This project will be constructed in phases each year by city staff. “This project is an ongoing maintenance item that will be continuous throughout the fiscal year,” Campbell said.