New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | May 18, 2024

NK capital improvement plan passed on to supervisors

By Alan Chamberlain | February 27, 2008 11:00 am

New Kent’s Planning Commission members have passed on a favorable recommendation to the county’s Board of Supervisors regarding items that relate to land use planning in a proposed capital improvement plan for the next fiscal year.

But due to deferrals prompted by the county’s goal of incurring no new debt next year, commission members only had to consider just over $500,000 of the close to $20 million in proposed capital spending for 2008-09.

Big ticket items that would fall under the commission’s scrutiny, such as $2 million for architectural and design work on a new elementary school and $1.25 million for a new county animal shelter, have been pushed back at least a year.

County Administrator John Budesky told commission members the bulk of next year’s $20 million plan involves $17.3 million in utility projects. Most of that figure is targeted for expanding the county’s Parham Landing Wastewater Treatment Plant. Money generated by the Farms of New Kent Community Development Authority along with connection and user fees will pay for the plant expansion, he said.

The plan calls for just over $2 million in local funding, but Budesky said the county has enough cash on hand and can avoid borrowing money. Supervisors are not looking to increase the county’s debt load next year, he said.

Budesky said he received close to $26 million in CIP requests for 2008-09. He shaved off $6 million including the animal shelter and elementary school preliminary work.

“Based on our earlier borrowing, we’re not in a position to recommend the planning phase of a new elementary school at this time,” he told the commission.

The same holds true for another county School Board request involving $500,000 for building a field house for athletics near the high school football stadium.

“We can’t financially support it,” Budesky said.

Pushed back into the following fiscal year (2009-10) is the $2 million for elementary school design work and the $500,000 field house. School officials had hoped to begin building a new elementary school in 2009-10, but the estimated $17.5 million construction cost has been pushed back into 2010-11.

Also being deferred is a $100,000 request for preliminary work on a new, $4.5 million public library.

“Part of the reason for that is the library has just committed to a three-year lease at a new location,” Budesky added.

More than half of the $500,000-plus projects reviewed by commission members centered on county parks and recreation: $40,000 to finish Quinton Park, $55,000 to complete renovations at Quinton Community Center, $185,000 to begin development at the 100-acre Criss Cross Park site, and $15,000 for improvements to Wahrani Nature Trail.

No one, meanwhile, spoke about the capital plan during the commission’s public hearing on the proposal.

The overall plan covers five years through fiscal 2012-13 and totals just under $98.5 million. The document, however, is just a plan for projected needs and is not set in stone. County officials revise and update the plan on a yearly basis.