City’s forecast on Capital Improvements narrowing down

Published On April 15, 2014 | By William He | News & Commentary, Politics

On the 1st of March, Emeryville’s Public Works and Economic Development team invited the community to a meeting on the Capital Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2014-15 to 2018-19. The five-year plan reviewed the CIP process of identifying funding sources, establishing priorities, and selection of projects. The new plan would be approximately $95 million dollars with $69 million dollars of it designated to community facilities and parks. Major projects include the South Bayfront Bridge and Horton Landing Park ($16m), the ECCL ($21m), the rehabilitation of the Senior Center ($1.9m), and the renovation of the City Corporation Yard ($6.3m). The City also discussed less glamorous, but essential, public works projects like the repairing of streets ($2.3m), sidewalks ($1.7m), sewers ($2.5m), and street light poles ($1.4m).

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Funded projects by source

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Funded projects by type

Naturally, the funding of the projects was on every person’s mind. The previous CIP was approved in December of 2006 for FY 2005-06 through FY 2010-11. The five-year program was estimated to be $380 million dollars, but only $209 million was funded. The funded total was split between $65 million from the City and $144 from the Redevelopment Agency. One of the major questions in the meeting was with the dissolution of the RDA in 2012, how will future capital projects will be funded? The quick answer is that the money will come from restricted funds, grant money, and a portion of the residential general tax, but in five years, the sources are subject to change.

Furthermore, the City Council outlined priorities for the CIP. Familiar topics like Public Safety, Affordable Housing, and Improved Mobility made it to the list. The City will try to go on a preventative maintenance plan, which emphasizes the “fix it first” mentality of repairing worn out elements of the city. Staff also explained that they would take a methodical approach to tackling projects that are mandated by federal, state, or local law. The staff also handed out a packet with details on each of the 74 proposed preliminary CIP projects, including our proposed (tentatively named) Bullseye Dog Park.

The March 27th Planning Commission’s review of the CIP program presented by Sr. Planner Miroo Desai to verify its consistency with the General Plan can be viewed below on the EPOA YouTube Channel (3:26:00):

The City Council is scheduled to discuss and adopt the final proposed CIP at a special City Council meeting held right before the regular City Council meeting on May 6, 2014. Final approval for the CIP would occur on June 3rd. The adoption of the CIP would be the first since 2011 (and since the demise of redevelopment). A new CIP is adopted every two years.

About The Author

is a city planner for the City of American Canyon. He grew up in Oakland and moved to Emeryville in 2011. He has a Master's Degree in Urban Planning from San Jose State University and completed his thesis on the impact of redevelopment projects in Emeryville. His interests include community planning, land use optimization, and urban design. William lives with his wife in the Park Avenue District and enjoys photography and traveling on his spare time.

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