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Roads, Rinks and Retrofits, Woodbury Looks at 5-Year Spending Plan

The Woodbury City Council on Wednesday got its first look at the 2013-17 capital-improvement plan.

From the $16 million expansion to $18,000 for a new specialized printer for the , Woodbury officials on Wednesday examined the city’s five-year plan for capital expenditures and major projects.

The Woodbury City Council during a lengthy workshop heard from department heads about the 2013-2017 spending proposals.

The bulk of the spending, 39 percent, will be dedicated to roads, with utility infrastructure and improvements to public facilities accounting for another 43 percent together.

(Check out the PDF with this story for a detailed breakdown, which also includes a map of planned road projects.)

Some of the highlights by department:

Parks and Recreation

Clearly the biggest project on the horizon for Parks and Recreation is the expansion of the Bielenberg Sports Center. (An is set for 7 p.m. tonight, May 31, at the sports center.)

That project—which will —will cost about $15.5 million, with another $1 million for “sustainable design upgrades” and a parks substation. A $500,000 outdoor pleasure-skating rink is also being considered as an alternative as part of the project, though those dollars would likely come from a different fund.

Also on tap at the site is a $618,000 , Madison’s Place. The Madison Claire Foundation is close to hitting their fundraising total, Parks and Recreation Director Bob Klatt said. The city’s portion of the project is $155,000.

The construction of the playground will be timed with the Bielenberg expansion, he said.

There was also talk of using $309,000 slated for a new shelter at the for an outdoor refrigerated rink at one of the city’s parks. (Look for a story later.)

Community Development

Community Development Director Dwight Picha said the city would like to update the clubhouse ($43,800) and replace its golf carts for nearly $200,000.

Councilman Christopher Burns said that in light of the city’s and the possibility that the city may revisit its ownership of it in the future, Woodbury might want to consider leasing golf carts instead.

Echoing those concerns, Councilwoman Julie Ohs said the city should consider replacing only part of the fleet.

“Absolutely, it’s something we can look at,” Finance Director Tim Johnson said.

Public Safety

One of the unique aspects of the discussion was the possibility that Woodbury might move from having four ambulances to three.

EMS Director J.B. Guiton said the cost of the vehicles has nearly doubled over the past 10 years and the city could probably get by with one fewer ambulance.

The department would like to purchase a new ambulance, at about $175,000 on the high end, and a new pumper truck ($554,700) for the fire department.

Going to one less ambulance would likely require better coordination with neighboring departments and private services, Guiton said.

Public Works

Aside from some equipment upgrades, roadwork will dominate spending from Public Works over the next five years.

The city will likely spend $3.5 million to $5 million annually to upgrade Woodbury’s streets, Public Works Director David Jessup said. (See the PDF for a map.)

Retrofitting several stoplights in the city with is also on the docket, Jessup said, and they have worked well where they have been implemented already.

IT

The bulk of the proposed capital improvements for the city’s IT department comes from computer upgrades ($195,700) and a server update at $142,100.

Burns asked that staff look at the possibility of a cloud-based server in the future.

 

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