Upgrades List Arrives At County

April 25, 2005
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GRAND RAPIDS — Members of Kent County’s Finance Committee got their first look at capital improvement requests made by department heads for the upcoming fiscal year.

In all, the list contained 39 requests that require slightly more than $15 million of general fund money to fulfill. But KentCounty will only have about $3.5 million in fiscal year 2006 to spend on capital improvements, so the list needs to be trimmed.

“Presume that this is simply a planning figure at this time,” said County Fiscal Services Director Robert White to committee members last week.

CountyAdministrator and Controller Daryl Delabbio said in previous years Kent had anywhere from $6 million to $15 million to spend on improvements, but that wouldn’t be the case next year.

Facilities Management submitted 16 requests that total $11.78 million, with four for the office building at

82 Ionia Ave. SW
the county purchased earlier this year. But the department’s largest request of $4.6 million was for a new animal shelter.

The Parks Department had 10 requests for $1.53 million; Information Technology, four for $841,000; the Sheriff’s Department, three for $178,500; the zoo, five for $647,000; and the Circuit Court, one for $95,000.

“Some of these are a wish list. But some of these I know have to be addressed,” said Delabbio.

Aeronautics and Public Works also submitted requests but are not considered part of the county’s Capital Improvement Program, because these requests go to their respective boards instead of to the Board of Commissioners.

Aeronautics had six requests totaling $49.2 million, with $43 million earmarked for land improvements. Public Works submitted nine requests for $1.2 million, with $450,000 going toward a new compactor.

A committee will review all the CIP requests and recommend a list of projects to the Finance Committee in June. The full commission will get the list in September; two months after commissioners get their first peek at the new FY06 budget in July.

For the next five years, through fiscal year 2010, the county projects it will have nearly $123 million in capital improvement requests, with the bulk of those — about $91 million — arriving in 2010. A request from the Sheriff’s Department for the 2010 expansion of the Kent County Jail will total about $80 million, and will account for 88 percent of that year’s spending on capital improvements.

An upgrade is in the works for 82 Ionia in 2010. The plan is to reconstruct the building’s parking ramp that year at a projected cost of $7.8 million.    

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