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Tim Hunt Blasts CIP for Lack of Info

$9.1 million budget planning document contains no projections for major streetscape improvements in north Hyattsville neighborhood.

A major budget measure set to go before the Hyattsville City Council for consideration tonight has come under fire from a council member who says the document is incomplete.

Council member Tim Hunt (Ward 3) issued a public letter earlier this afternoon critical of the over its lack of cost estimates for infrastructure improvements in the University Hills neighborhood. The agenda for a special session of the city council tonight at 8 p.m. lists the CIP as one of its action items. 

"The University Hills Street Reconstruction project is likely to cost a significant amount of money and we need to see how it fits in with our other priorities," wrote Hunt in his post on the listserv for the Hyattsville Organization for a Positive Environment. "Indeed, some of these projects are necessary and are important for the city moving forward, but it's hard to tell that to somebody who looks out of his window and sees grass growing out of the middle of his street."

When city officials , the five-year budget planning document did not include cost estimates for the University Hills Street Reconstruction project. Budget documents only say that the costs are "to be determined." 

"Cost estimates will not be available until engineering is complete," wrote Hunt. "Presentation of the final design is anticipated to occur prior to December 31, 2012."

The neighborhood is currently saddled with inadequate drainage systems, according to the CIP notes. The project, when complete, will add sidewalks and realign roadways as well as install new stormwater management systems. 

Hunt, who was absent citing illness on Monday when , said that the lack of cost estimates was unacceptable. 

"Again, no cost estimates provided even though staff is in reciept of the 30% design drawings which contain a substantial amount of information," wrote Hunt. "Other road projects have had cost estimates provided for budgeting purposes based on the 30% drawings."

According to the Hyattsville city website, conceptual plans for the University Hills construction project will be presented in early May, and a community meeting will be scheduled in late May to discuss the project. 

Preliminary reports on the initiative and maps showing areas where improvements will likely go have been released, but the documents do not contain cost estimates. 

The city council will consider the capital improvement plan, along with other budget measures, during a special session at 8 p.m. in the Hyattsville Municipal Building.

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