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New CIP expands county offices

January 23, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

Washington County's six-year capital improvement plan includes $1.6 million for expanding county offices in downtown Hagerstown and $750,000 for the city's new YMCA, now in the planning stage.

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The $20.6 million proposed capital program for fiscal year 2001 is almost $6 million less than this year's, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said. The fiscal year begins July 1.

The first draft of the program was released Friday and will be discussed by the Washington County Commissioners from 3-5 p.m. Tuesday at the commissioners meeting room, 100 W. Washington St.

The report does not state where the $1.6 million downtown expansion would occur, but the County Commissioners have been told the County Administration Building no longer provides enough office space for county employees. The program calls for spending the money over a four-year period.

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The capital program also calls for an additional $862,000 for renovation work that will be needed when some county departments move to another building, Shoop said. He wouldn't say what building the county may expand into.

The County Commissioners have not voted on a December 1999 request by the YMCA to donate $750,000 over the next three fiscal years to the $8.8 million project, but the proposed six-year capital improvement program includes that money.

As they go through the proposal, the commissioners will decide if they want to include the YMCA money, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said.

"That is great news that it is in the budget," said Michael Flicek, YMCA executive director.

The fiscal 2001 program calls for issuing $13 million in general obligation bonds.

The commissioners spent about $7 million in bonds for the 1999 program and authorized issuing $11.7 million this year, Shoop said. The actual amount of bonds issued may be somewhat less, though, he said.

The first draft of the present year's capital improvement program was $30 million but it was later trimmed down to about $26 million.

An early draft of the 1999 capital improvement budget was $15.8 million, but it was cut to about $10.3 million before the budget was passed in June.

The proposed 2001 program calls for $4.15 million for Board of Education projects, including renovating South High School and Clear Spring Elementary School.

It also calls for $6.3 million for solid waste projects, $3.1 million for water and sewer projects, $1.7 million for general government and $1.6 million for road improvements.

The program also includes:

- About $6.4 million over the next four years to close out and cap the Resh Sanitary Landfill.

- About $12 million to build its replacement, the Forty West Sanitary Landfill.

- Approximately $2.6 million for renovations of the Washington County Courthouse Annex, including asbestos removal and making a room for a fifth Circuit Court judge.

- About $5.76 million for state-mandated biological nutrient removal improvements at the Conococheague Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The program calls for using $13 million in general obligation bonds, $1.1 million from the general fund, $1.9 million in federal funds and $3.1 in state funds, in addition to other funding sources.

While the county only approves budgets one year at a time, the six-year program is used to plan for the future.

Under the plan the program would be about $20.4 million in fiscal 2002, $32 million in fiscal 2003 and $36.6 million in 2004. After jumping up to $37.4 million in fiscal 2005 it goes back down to $23.98 million in fiscal 2005.

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