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City Reveals 5-Year, $9.1 Million Capital Improvement Plan

Long-term budget document lays out funding for improvements to City Hall, renovations at old BB&T building, among others.

The Hyattsville City Council got its first look this week at a new five-year capital improvement plan which lays out at least $9.1 million in funding for major purchases and modifications to city facilities.

According to city officials, this year's capital improvement plan marks the first time that the city has attempted long-term budget planning on this scale.

"It's things that we really want to get done," said City Treasurer and Acting City Administrator Elaine Stookey. "The city has never really tried to do long-term planning to the extent that we are trying to do this year. We've gotten far more serious about it."

The plan is notable in that it doesn't call for any increases to the property tax rate to fund long-term capital improvements, a feat which many cities have struggled to achieve during these unsteady economic times.

However, the budget does call for $5.7 million in bond issuances over the next two years. This represents new debt for the city, but Stookey and Mayor Marc Tartaro note that debt service payments for the previous two rounds of bond issuances–in 2008 and 2010–continue to diminish, and the city is seeking a refunding (think refinancing) of its current bonds which should free up money for capital projects. Further, debt incurred will still be less than the 2 percent of the assessed taxable value of the city, in line with city policy restricting debt levels. 

Over the next five years the capital improvement plan calls for:

  • $5.2 million spread across 2014, 2015, and 2016 for long term improvements to the on 4310 Gallatin Street, including $120,000 to upgrade the roof, $250,000 to upgrade the HVAC units, $106,000 to repair the mansard roof, $40,000 for the installation of a natural gas line, and $68,000 to convert the building's operating systems to natural gas. This will be funded mostly from a proposed bond issuance, another $700,000 will come from the CIP fund balance. 
  • $4.52 million between now and 2015 to renovate the old to be the new home of the Hyattsville City Police Department. The money will be raised entirely from speed camera revenues.
  • $3 million in 2013 to fund the build-out of the . The City Council still has to select a final scheme for the inside of the building. The vast majority of this, $2.95 million, would be funded from a proposed bond issuance. The new facility is expected to incur roughly $488,900 in long term budget impacts for staff, insurance and utility fees, including an estimated $180,000 in revenues after the first three years the building is open. 
  • $2 million in 2013 to fund property acquisition for
  • $1.6 million in 2013 to repair the south Hyattsville Nieghborhood in the vicinity of Crittenden Street and 40th Place. This would be funded from a 2010 bond issuance. 
  • $1.1 million over the next five years to fund field renovations at  
  • $880,000 over the next two years to complete the city's long-delayed five-year paving program (began about eight years ago, according to Mayor Marc Tartaro). This includes the areas of 42nd Place and Oliver Street and Buchanan Street, whose roads are among the most deteriorated in the city. Much of this funding, $795,000 of it, would come from a proposed bond issuance. 
  • $500,000 over the next five years to implement the city's Americans With Disabilities Act Transition Plan, to be paid for with a proposed bond issuance. 
  • $409,000 over five years to install sidewalks in neighborhoods which currently lack them. More than half of the funds $225,000 will come from the sale of new bonds. An additional $109,000 will be funded from the State Board of Public Works. 
  • $285,000 in 2013 to upgrade the Magruder Park Recreation Center. Improvements include making the bathrooms ADA compliant, and turning the youth sports equipment room into a concession stand. 
  • $200,000 in 2013 to purchase Enterprise Resource Planning software to facilitate the sharing of data between city departments. This would be paid out of the CIP fund balance. After that, the system would require a additional $32,000 in annual projected maintenance and licensing fees. 
  • $200,000 to replace the city's 1998 GMC trash truck in 2013. 
  • $100,000 in 2014 to build a 300 foot hiker-biker trail connecting Crittenden Street neighborhoods with  
  • $90,000 in 2013 to purchase and install new parking meters. The smart meters will come with a projected $15,000 annual ongoing costs just to transmit the data.
  • $75,200 over five years to purchase Panasonic Toughbooks for police officers.
  • $75,000 over the next five years to upgrade the city's information technology infrastructure to replace the aging network servers already in service. It also calls for an as-yet-undetermined amount of money to be spent on vehicle replacements over the next five years. But pending the review and approval of a city fleet maintenance and replacement study, all vehicle purchases are on hold until 2014. 
  • $75,000 over the next five years to upgrade the city's Cable Access operations. 
  • $60,000 to purchase a new work truck for the This move is designed to save on long-term maintenance needs. Over the last two years, the city has spent $16,473 to repair its existing 1998 Chevrolet work truck. 
  • $55,000 in 2013 to fund bicycle and pedestrian enhancements.
  • $40,000 in 2013 to purchase additional closed circuit security cameras and emergency call boxes. However, the funds are frozen until the program has been assessed for effectiveness. One potential location for a new call box: the Hiker Biker Trail near the West Hyattsville Metro Station. 
  • $38,600 over the next five years to purchase 12 new vehicle-mounted speed radar units, and two vehicle-mounted laser speed units for the police department. These must be calibrated annually at $80 a pop, costing an additional projected expense of $2,400 over five years.
  • $32,000 in 2013 to repair the crumbling retaining wall at King Park. 
  • $20,000 in 2013 to repair the surfaces of the basketball and tennis courts at Magruder Park damaged during the August 2011 Mineral Earthquake. 
  • $17,500 in 2014 to purchase a trailer-mounted LED message board, cutting down on rental costs for roadside message board services. 
  • $9,000 for a replacement K-9 police assistant. Hyattsville's current K-9 police dog, Aris, is being retired after suffering a spinal injury. 
  • An undetermined amount for drainage and roadway improvements in the University Hills Neighborhood. Cost estimates will become clear once engineering drafts are complete, expected by the end of 2012.
Tim Hunt April 25, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Note that this does not include the price or timeline for the University Hills Street Rehabilitation. "To be determined" is what we get. Tim
Barbara J. Runion April 25, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Dear Michael Theis: Just wanted to say what a great job you are doing for Patch. Your articles are interesting, well-researched, accurate and to the point. Thanks for such professional coverage of our local community and especially the goings-on in Hyattsville City Hall. Congratulations on a job "Well-Done!" Keep up the great work. Barbara J. Runion, Hyattsville resident since 1969.
Michael Theis April 25, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Ms. Runion, thank you very much for your kind words. Don't be afraid to let me know if my work ever drops below your standards. And keep commenting! Our local political dialogue could benefit greatly if more people discussed the news in the comment sections. Politicians pay attention to it.
Michael Theis April 25, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Hey all, posted a new story summarizing Councilor Tim Hunt (Ward 3)'s complaints about the CIP. Check out the story here: http://patch.com/A-sJfy
Jeff Nichols July 18, 2012 at 05:36 PM
With regards to the enterprise resource planning software purchase slated for 2013, I believe that the city can find a great enterprise-level asset management solution for far less than the $200k investment noted here. I'm an IT consultant, and have spent time analyzing many of these enterprise software solutions out there including Raritan, NLYTE, and more. AlphaPoint Technology (http://www.alphapointtechnology.com), seems to offer a powerful and inexpensive solution.

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