Last week the city manager released the city’s proposed $2.7 Billion 2020 budget. I think it’s incredibly important to make sure everyone understands how our money is being spent. Over the next few weeks I will be discussing the budget with you to get your feedback.
Continuing with our transportation trend from last week, let’s start with the aspects of the Capital Investment Plan (“CIP”) dealing with transportation. The CIP includes appropriations in the city’s budget for capital improvements like street improvements, building construction, and facility maintenance.
The proposed 2020 CIP calls for $68 mil over the next 5 years for the purchase of new transportation equipment to address the changing technological needs of our city. It allocates $2 million for new CATS non revenue generating service vehicles, $170 million to go towards moving water and wastewater lines when new road improvement are made, and $14 million to repair and replace our city’s bridges.
In District 3 I want to highlight two particular projects. First is the Dixie Berryhill Road Area Project. This project will improve the road system in the area west of the airport through a mix of public-private development efforts. Improvements will be made to major roads like Dixie River and Garrison, and West Boulevard — one of District 3’s most important thoroughfares — will be extended. The goal is to promote economic development and job growth. It is important to note, these roads run alongside several identified opportunity zones.
The CIP also calls for a new light rail stop between East West Blvd and New Bern stations. This project will cost almost $12 million over the next 5 years. As Southend continues to grow we need to continue to adapt our public transportation system to our changing needs.
I believe that both of these projects are important infrastructure improvements to our district. The more we can leverage private dollars to improve our city’s infrastructure and the better. What do you think? Share your thoughts below!