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$24 mil proposed capital project funding

Twenty-four million dollars. It sounds like a lot of money and, indeed, after the costs of personnel, the costs of capital improvements is the largest item in the Boulder City budget.

Approving the overall plan for the next five years as well as specific projects for fiscal year 2025 took a big step forward and the city council heard a presentation outlining the Capital Improvement Plan.

“While the CIP is a five-year plan, reviewing it every year helps us prioritize the most important projects,” said Finance Director Cynthia Sneed in a statement prior to the meeting. “After the historic low water levels on Lake Mead, the Southern Nevada Water Authority issued drought mandates. Water conservation efforts such as turf removal and improving irrigation systems became higher priorities over the past three years.”

Water conservation projects cited in the plan presented to the council Tuesday night include $100,000 on general conservation in city facilities, the lining of the Wells Road levee, as well as the replacement of 360-degree sprinkler heads at the Boulder Creek Golf Club with 180-degree versions that will save water as well as the rehabilitation of three ponds at the course that are currently drained.

Other water-associated projects on tap include $100,000 to replace irrigation equipment in city parks as well as more than $5 million toward design of a new municipal pool facility to replace the current one, which loses substantial amounts of water every year through a combination of evaporation and leakage. This amount is only for design, not actual construction.

It’s not all about saving water. Sometimes it’s about dealing with too much of it.

“Our biggest projects next year will address safety,” said Carol Lelles, CIP coordinator. “The Avenue I Storm Drain project in the amount of $4,789,430 in FY25 provides additional stormwater carrying capacity. The project – 100% funded by the Regional Flood Control District – will result in protecting numerous homes from flooding in the area.” As with the comments from Sneed, Lelles’ comments were also provided by the city prior to the meeting of the city council.

Source of funding is of particular note for a small city such as BC. Some of the biggest projects are funded from sources outside of the city. This includes more than $5 million from Regional Flood Control, $1.6 million from the Regional Transportation Commission and nearly $1.2 million from the Federal Aviation Administration. Combined, those three sources account for nearly a third of proposed spending.

The FAA funds, which are subject to a 10% match from the city, are slated to go for design of a control tower at the Boulder City Airport which has, historically, not had a tower, leaving individual pilots solely responsible for safe takeoffs and landings.

City staff pointed out that priorities for spending were made with input from local residents.

“City council members, city staff and I value input from our community members,” said City Manager Taylour Tedder. “Giving residents a chance to comment on our website, whenever their schedule allows, has been even more successful than I expected, with more than 140 suggestions sent to us in recent months.”

Sneed concurred. “It has been great to see the priorities of residents align well with projects staff recommended in previous years. Many of the submissions from residents are already getting attention or have been on our radar. For example, improvements in our city parks: staff had already started working on these prior to the submissions; equipment is ordered and should arrive in the coming months. We also saw many submissions regarding water conservation and sustainable wastewater projects – areas that city staff are diligently addressing.”

Another significant area of spending is on electrical infrastructure with close to $6 million planned for replacing current equipment and rebuilding of the city-owned utility’s electrical substations.

“The plan calls for more than $5.5 million in electrical projects, upgrading the city electrical infrastructure from 4kV to 12kV,” said Lelles. “These improvements increase the reliability of our power grid, especially on high demand days in the summer months.”

City staff is requesting council approval of both the five-year plan as well as specific FY 2025 spending from the city council by their meeting scheduled for Jan. 9. This was only a presentation of the report. No voting or other action was taken.

Contact reporter Bill Evans at wevans@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401.

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