If all goes as expected, the barn-like outbuildings at Orem’s Nielsen’s Grove will be re-stained and refurbished this coming year. It is just one of a plethora of capital improvement projects and budget requests presented to the City Council on Tuesday.
They are part of the 2020 fiscal year budget requests that, if approved, will be effective July 1.
Sam Kelly, city engineer, presented a variety of projects and budgets that cover one-time items and several ongoing projects.
According to the presentation, money from the general fund for projects will be about $6.5 million. Other funding includes roads at $2.6 million, water $6.5 million, water reclamation $2.4 million, and from the transportation tax about $2.33 million.
Not all of this money will be used during the coming fiscal year, but will be held for projects scheduled in the capital improvement project five-year plan.
However, residents will see a few projects happening over the next year that will spruce up the city. Besides the regular road upkeep, which Jamie Davidson, city manager, says is the No. 1 priority, funds will go towards everything from a new 10-million gallon underground water tank to resurfacing the fountains at Nielsen’s Grove.
Residents that use Scera Park will see the north playground area go away and two new sandpit volleyball courts take its place.
“Instead of a new playground north, we’re going to refit for sand volleyball,” Kelly said.
According to Mayor Richard Brunst, the new Centennial Elementary School being built to replace the current Scera Park Elementary will have a close-by playground.
However, that doesn’t satisfy the needs of the youngest in the community.
“Parents are requesting a playground for smaller kids,” Brunst said.
Motorists who hate driving on snow and ice will be happy to hear the city is hoping to incorporate a brine solution that will keep ice from forming on streets during winter storms beginning next year. Utah Department of Transportation already uses brine.
A request for a brine system is part of the CIP budget request. The brine system is budgeted at $225,000.
For those that like the SCERA Pools, there will get a $150,000 boost to the waterslides. The Senior Friendship Center will get a new paint job inside and a new roof, as will other city buildings. The cemetery will get money towards a cremation niche and lights for the lower cemetery. It could be used as early as July 1, if ready.
“Just because we have the money doesn’t mean we’re going to build,” Davidson said. He noted that as the five-year capital plan projects are prioritized, money will be put in reserve and if something comes up unexpectedly it can be redirected.
“We’re never done,” Kelly said. “But I feel like we’re in a good place.”
Kelly said they are looking at funding for 30 years of projects. Other items include upgrades for high-tech equipment and sensors, upgrading the roundabout at 400 West and 1200 South by Utah Valley University, heart monitors for the Fire Department, and $1.3 million for various stormwater projects connected to West Union Canal abandonment.
A full list of the CIP budget requests for Fiscal year 2020 can be found online at http://orem.org.