Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2012, 10:28 pm

EM capital improvement plan presented to city council

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By Anthony Watt

An updated version of East Moline's five-year capital improvements plan, presented to the city council this week, pushes proposed spending over the period from $9.3 million to $31.8 million.

The council has yet to act on the plan. The next time it could be discussed is at a special budget meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday at East Moline City Hall, 915 16th Ave.

The plan was introduced to the city's aldermen earlier this month and listed scores of projects for the years 2013 to 2017. They include a new water tower and new radios and other equipment for police and firefighters. The city engineering department added its proposed projects this week.

The projects are rated for priority from one to five, the plan states.

The largest costs on the engineering department's list are also lowest on the priority list. The potentially costliest project is possible extensions of sewer lines into the area around the intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 88 to the east of the city, an area that has been identified as having potential for business and residential development. If the project were to happen, it would cost as much as $5,250,000 and is the only priority "five" on the list.

But a sewer line extension is something officials said would likely only happen once there is commitment from a developer to start projects in the area.

"If development happens out there, we'll move forward," city administrator Cole O'Donnell said on Wednesday.

Otherwise, the project will likely be kept in the plan as a possibility rather than a reality, he said.

The next largest expenditure is up to $1,638,000 for work on the Grand Illinois Trail bike path at 30th Avenue and Archer Drive, according to the proposal. That cost is spread over two years and would include $12,000 for planning in 2013 and $1,626,000 for construction in 2015. The project is rated a "four."

The trail would connect the Great River Trail in East Moline to the Hennepin Canal Trail in Colona, the report states.

Mr. O'Donnell said the city has a $400,000 grant to help it with construction.

The $12,000 for planning would come from motor fuel taxes, the plan states.

The remainder would either have to come from a loan or bond issuance or some other revenue source, Mr. O'Donnell said. He believes a bond issuance or loan would be unlikely to be approved and if no other revenue is found, the project would likely be postponed or canceled.

Other priorities in the plan include new squad cars for the police department, new radios for police officers and the fire department, and a new garbage truck.

Those needs would cost about $652,000 if all of them were fully funded. Other first priority needs include replacing the water tower at 10th Street and 20th Avenue at a cost of about $1.8 million and an emergency generator for maintenance services — a cost of $165,000.

On the other end of the spectrum is an expansion of water treatment infrastructure, Mr. O'Donnell said. That project would happen only if the volume of use increased. If needed, it would cost about $2.525 million.

Other items considered less urgent are a $5,000 storage building for the sewer treatment plant, and $280,000 in new accounting software.

Just because something is listed in the plan doesn't mean it will happen, city officials have said. Each project would need council approval before it could happen, and as time passes, the plan will be adjusted to allow for changes in circumstances.

East Moline capital improvement plan expenditures by department:

Here are totals for various wants and needs in the five-year plan.
Water treatment: $6,087,000.
Water distribution: $30,000
Parks: $10,000.
Administration (includes mayor, finance, clerk and other offices): $280,000.
Drainage: $135,000.
Engineering: $22,534,000.
Fire department: $725,000.
Garbage: $200,000.
Maintenance services: $189,500.
Police department: $352,000.
Sewer collections: $180,000.
Sewer treatment: $855,000.
Street maintenance: $270,000.
-- I.T.: $5,000.

The plan is available for viewing at the city clerk's office at East Moline City Hall, 915 16th Ave., or at the city annex across the street from city hall.

Engineering Department Projects by Type:

The Engineering Departments list of capital improvements is largely related to roadway improvements, though other needs and wants are also represented. There are a total of 46 projects, with an overall cost of up to $22,534,000. This is a breakdown by type of project with the total cost for each type.

— Streets: 30 projects with a cost of up to $10,204,000. They include resurfacing, pavement patching and similar work.

— Sewers: 12 projects at a cost of up to $9,714,000. They include various sewer repairs, replacements and additions. This list includes the possible extension of sewer lines in support of development in the Interstate 80/Interstate 88 corridor.

— Other: four projects that could cost up to $2,616,000. They include a new engineering truck, a new GPS unit and the Grand Illinois Trail project.