Committee Reviews Capital Expenditure Requests
Waukesha's 2012 budget needs further work to cut down expenditure requests before the proposal is finalized for Common Council review later this month.
Members of the Waukesha Common Council had the first look at potential projects that could be proposed for next year during the 2012 budget process.
Department directors and city staff are finalizing budget recommendations, and the Finance Committee was presented Tuesday night with a list of initial requests. The presentation was described by Finance Committee Chairman and Alderman Joe Pieper as “the first run” as the final pieces to the proposed budget are put together.
“This is going to be vetted and gone through by staff and re-presented to us,” Pieper explained.
The initial summary of department requests for capital improvement expenditures – items that are not considered part of the annual operation budget – total $13.26 million. That figure could change when Interim City Administrator Steve Crandell and Finance Director Steve Neaman submit the budget later this month. In 2011, the Common Council approve $15.3 million in capital improvements, which included the relocation of Fire Station No. 2.
“The total recommended 10-year borrowing for ‘non-major’ projects, including fleet, is targeted between $3.5 and $5 million on an annual basis,” states a memo prepared by Crandell and Neaman. “… While interest rates are attractive for borrowing with the city receiving an average rate of 1.94 percent on our last bond issuance, staff still recommends exercising conservative budgeting to minimize our total debt.
"The executive budget will not include funding for all requested 2012 projects in appreciation of the city’s total debt service obligations. Funding for some of the requested projects will need to be reduced, eliminated or delayed.”
Pieper thanked city staff members for the work that has been done on the budget so far. The budget will go through an extensive Finance Committee review process in October after it is released at the end of September. Final adoption of the budget is scheduled for November.
“I look forward to a very smooth and productive budget season,” Pieper said.
The department directors provided a list of projects and spending they would like approval for in 2012:
- Department of Public Works; $7.38 million
- Waukesha Metro Transit; $2.97 million
- Information Technology; $1.06 million
- Parks, Recreation & Forestry; $1.046 million
- Clerk/Treasurer; $75,000
- Waukesha Police Department; $477,335
- Waukesha Fire Department; $17,000
- Waukesha Public Library; $217,000
The Department of Public Works request range from equipment to road projects. The department is requesting about $4.4 million for road projects, including new residential street paving, alley reconstruction and rehabilitation, concrete street slabs and joint repairs, reconstruct projects with state and federal funding, minor street reconstruction and major street reconstruction. Some of the funding for the road projects could be funded by federal and state grants and special assessments.
While Waukesha Metro Transit is requesting to spend $2.79 million in replacing its fixed route buses, the request includes spending $2.2 million in federal funding with the city borrowing $557,200 to fund its portion of the expenditure.
The final proposed budget, including tax levy and tax rate information, has not yet been released. The budget is subject to the approval of the Common Council. And at least one alderman would like to see the capital improvement project requests lowered.
Alderman Andy Reiland urged the department directors to look at their requests to determine the costs of waiting on projects and expenditures in order to see if the projects can wait another year.
“It is my understand that the departments are under a directive to submit a conservative 2012 budget,” Reiland said. “… It seems to me that we failed in some of the CIP project (requests).”
The Finance Committee also was given the five-year plan for the 2013-17 capital improvement budgets. Major projects that could be requested in the future include relocating fire station no. 3 for $3.43 million in 2013, renovating/reconstructing Buchner Pool for $5.5 million in 2013, $2 million in 2013 for the West Waukesha Bypass construction and $2.69 million for the Mindiola Community Center in 2015.