O'Fallon Progress

A $58 million public infrastructure facelift proposed in O’Fallon

The O’Fallon Progress

The O'Fallon Progress serves readers in O'Fallon.
Up Next
The O'Fallon Progress serves readers in O'Fallon.

Concentration on public infrastructure – new and replacement – is a priority of the proposed five-year Capital Improvement Plan for O’Fallon. More than $58 million is estimated as needed for such public works as sanitary sewers, drainage projects and construction, which is nearly 90 percent of the total proposal.

More than $66.6 million in community improvements are proposed in the initial document that is a planning tool for the city’s annual budget 2020 through 2024.

A sanitary sewer lift station for Rieder Road, which is poised for economic development growth, as well as needed upgrades to the aging “Presidential Streets” are among the detailed wish list.

The five-year Capital Improvement Plan was introduced for the period May 1, 2019 to April 30, 2024 during the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday, which was attended by the O’Fallon City Council.

Equipment, vehicles, roads, parks, signage, security and landscaping were all detailed in the report. Such items as a fifth fire station on the east end of town, new roof at Katy Cavins Community Center, security cameras at O’Fallon Station and next phases of parking lots and road intersection improvements were listed.

All the projects must be approved by the council for the annual budget, said Assistant City Administrator Grant Litteken. The CIP is updated and presented on an annual basis.

As a planning instrument, it drives the evaluation and identification of capital infrastructure projects and equipment in need of purchase, renovation, repair and/or construction.

Litteken said the council will review the plan over the next few weeks, and the Finance and Administration Committee will meet Nov. 12 to discuss it further.

“The plan should be formally adopted before the city staff begins on the preparation of the annual budget,” he said.

City Administrator Walter Denton said the planning process identifies, prioritizes and selects projects for the long-range fiscal and strategic plans. The time frame in which both the financing and work will take place must be determined.

“The first report is always the hardest,” he said. He thanked Litteken, administrative intern Aliyah Price and the city’s leadership team for their time and effort in preparing the initial report.

“They have committed a significant amount of work to make this plan a reality,” he said.

However, the funded projects are based on available revenue.

“Just because a project is listed in a specific year in the CIP, that does not mean it is funded until it is approved in the annual budget for that year,” Denton said.

Some ongoing projects are listed, such as Phase 4 of the Presidential Streets Stormwater Remediation that the Public Works Department has been continuing for the past two years, improving drainage and upgrading existing sewer and roadway infrastructure.

The $1 million project will improve the drainage, install new sanitary sewers, and reconstruct the area roadways because the current area has old clay sanitary sewers and this part of the city experiences standing water and localized flooding during rain.

The CIP document is designed to report the capital management and strategies to the city council, public, city employees and other interested parties, he said.

Each city department can provide input in planning and implementation of the CIP.

The Public Safety Department is requesting a third ambulance for Emergency Medical Services to support daily operations. There have been two ambulances for 25 years.

They cite the reason: “Our calls for service continue to increase annually and with the possibility of performing transfer for to both our hospitals, the need for a third ambulance will become necessary,” in the plan.

The goal is “to add to support our daily mission, handle transfers, and reduce the need for mutual aid from outside ambulances services,” The $275,000 is requested for the fiscal year 2020 budget.

Replacement vehicles are a common request. For instance, the Parks and Recreation Department wants to replace a utility tractor that needs major work with a new one for $28,000 in 2021.

“Perhaps the greatest benefit of having a Capital Improvements Plan is focusing attention on improving or constructing the capital assets necessary for providing the services and facilities expected by the residents and businesses,” Denton said.

“This process over time, with informed and involved citizens, will allow our community to offer an enhanced quality of life with the financial resources available,” he said.

“The final plan should be regarded as a sound, fiscally responsible working document that can and will be implemented via the City Council’s annual budget appropriation process,” he said.

Every item is explained through project name, department, description, existing condition, project goals and funding source.

For instance, the draft lists a parking lot Phase 5 for the Family Sports Park at a cost of $500,000 in 2021. The additional parking fields would provide 500-plus parking spaces, as grass fields are currently used for overflow parking. There is no funding source at present.

A Bike Playground proposal for the Rock Springs Rotary Park in 2022 is estimated at $100,000, with 50 percent of the project’s costs would be covered from a grant. The new service would provide bike ramps.

Capital projects are funded through a variety of methods, including long-term financing, user fees, grants, assessments, tax levies, and reserve balances. Some projects are budgeted with multiple revenue streams, Denton said.

The city’s General Fund is the primary operating fund for the city and from sales tax and state income tax.

Other sources of income include motor fuel tax, hotel-motel tax, Proposition S (street, sidewalk and stormwater drainage improvements), local grants and loans, Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Enterprise Funds.

For more information, visit www.ofallon.org