Capital budget, major funding for recreation center on Lemoore City Council docket

The Lemoore City Council will consider approval of its 2013-2015 Capital Improvement Program Budget at its regular meeting Tuesday night. The council studied the budget at its Oct. 15 meeting.

According to a staff report from Interim City Manager Jeff Laws, a few changes were made, including a major water project, which will cost upwards of $3,00,000. The project was moved up from the 2015-17 program years to the upcoming fiscal budget. The well is scheduled to be built on Lemoore’s north side.

The estimated expenses for the 2013-2015 years increased from $8,893,000 to $11,893,160 which reflects the changes. The increase in expenses has caused an expected decreased in the 2015 ending balance, decreasing from $8,379,195 to $5,379,195.

Also included in the budget is a plethora of funding for the Lemoore Recreational Center at 711 W. Cinnamon Drive, including undergrounding the Dockstedder Ditch in front of the Cinnamon complex as well as improvements to curb, gutter, sidewalks, streetlights, landscaping and paving to the tune of $650,000.

Other improvements include $88,000 for a commercial kitchen and $110,000 for heating and air conditioning for much of the facility. Also budgeted is $17,000 to strip and resurface basketball courts in the main facility and flooring for the kitchen and day camp room at a cost of $9,000.

Nearly all of the funding for the Cinnamon complex is derived from recreational impact fees as well as facilities fees.

An additional capital project is the long-delayed police dispatch center. The budget calls from an expenditure of $930,000.

In other council news, it will get an update regarding its reduced pick-up of recycling and green waste cans from weekly to every other week. In 2009 the pick-ups were changed to every other week in order to help the refuse fund become more financially stable. During that period, staff solicited input by putting a message in the utility bill asking citizens if they would rather have reduced service or an increase of $3 to 44 dollars per month on their bill. The responses were overwhelming in favor of the reduced service, stated Lauren Apone in her staff report.

Making those changes in 2009 allowed the city to eliminate one full-time refuse position and one side loading refuse truck, save 6,000 gallons of fuel annually and $165,000 on an annual basis.

To reinstate regular once a week service for all cans would require a refuse rate hike stated Apone, at a rate of about $4 per month.

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