Albemarle County’s five year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) could be shrunk from $239 million to $138 million due to declines in government revenue from taxes, proffers and grants.  The County Planning Commission heard a report from the CIP Oversight Committee at their meeting on January 13, 2009.


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Committee member Bill Letteri, who works as the County’s Director of Facilities Development, said reductions in County revenues have meant fewer dollars are being transferred into the capital budget. As such, only one program has been added to the program this year, and that is the County’s contribution to the expansion of the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.


The Board of Supervisors directed staff last year

to reduce the amount transferred from general revenue to the capital budget by an equivalent of 3 cents of the tax rate. Two cents of that had been dedicated to transportation, the Acquisition of Conservation Easements program and other infrastructure projects. The CIP is also not receiving as much money from proffers and grants. The reduction in funding will cut over $100 million worth of projects that had previously been programmed, from all areas of County government.

Letteri said the public works section of the CIP was cut to a level that would allow the County’s infrastructure to be maintained, but there will be no expansions. Letteri said reduction to the neighborhood plan implementation would leave enough money to pay for components of the

Crozet

and

Pantops

Master Plans, but not other plans such as those for

Places29

and the

Village of Rivanna

.

“Everything that we’re doing to the CIP is about either deferring projects or in some cases eliminating them,” Letteri said, adding that the County would need to increase its level of borrowing in order to maintain even the reductions. He recommended changing the County’s debt policy to encourage projects that can leverage outside funds.

One project getting scrutiny is the County’s contribution to the new YMCA facility being design for McIntire Park in Charlottesville. The committee suggested moving a $1.25 million project to help pay for  a competitive swimming pool at the YMCA outside of the five-year CIP as the County is currently reviewing other proposals for improved swimming facilities from Crozet Park and from Star Swimming (Fairview Pool). The Board has also previously committed another $2 million to support the construction of the facility, but that contribution is not programmed in the CIP.

The proposed amendments to the CIP also push back construction of a

replacement for Northside library

to at least FY2014. The facility’s current lease expires sometime during FY13, so staff is currently negotiating an extension.


Projects suggested for deferral from five-year CIP:


Projects suggested for elimination:


Other reductions:

Commissioner Bill Edgerton (Jack Jouett) wanted to know if the cuts to master plans would mean that no further master plans be adopted. County Director of Planning Wayne Cilimberg said the money in the CIP for neighborhood plans would go to specific projects, and not the actual development of the plans themselves. He confirmed that implementation of Places29 could be delayed if there is no funding .

Edgerton also called for a restoration of funds for the ACE program. “One of the priorities of our comp plan is the preservation of the rural area and this is the only vehicle that’s been made available to the County,” Edgerton said.  His comments were echoed by Commissioner Marcia Joseph (At-Large)

The Commission made no specific changes to the committee’s recommendations, which will go before the Board at a later date.

Fania Gordon & Sean Tubbs


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