By NATHAN GREGORY
Financial consultant Demery Grubbs presented a draft for a three-year capital improvement plan to members of the Starkville Board of Aldermen at its planning session Tuesday.
The board made revisions to the draft, which Grubbs said he will include in a finalized draft the board will have the option of adopting at its June 5 meeting.
The plan consists of projects the board would like to able to fund in the near and long term.
Each year of the plan has funding set aside for sewer projects, equipment purchases, street overlays and drainage improvements.
Items of interest listed in year one of the plan are construction of a new City Hall complex, roadway striping on North Montgomery Street, public wi-fi access points, improvement of servers for computers, American Disabilities Act handicap access and sidewalks in various city locations and fire hydrant installation on the roads of Rock Hill, Butler and Stowood.
Improvements in the second year of the plan include continuation of City Hall construction, a redesign of South Montgomery Street, improvements to Highway 182, placement of mobile computers in police cars and a Lynn Lane multi-use path.
The item originally phrased as “Highway 182 Reconstruction” was revised to change reconstruction to improvements at the request of Mayor Parker Wiseman. He said discussions with the Mississippi Department of Transportation concluded that complete reconstruction of the state highway from Old West Point Road to Long Street would cost an estimated $40 million. The estimated funding set aside for such a project is $4.5 million.
“MDOT has estimated that rebuilding the base of (Highway) 182 is a $40 million project, and MDOT has told us in the foreseeable future that is not a project they would have the ability to take on,” Wiseman said.
The third year in the plan has renovation to the current City Hall and conversion of it to a public safety complex, streetscaping on Russell Street and replacement of the Old West Point bridge.
$50,000 is set aside for drainage improvements in each year of the plan, a figure Ward 4 Alderman Richard Corey said he’d like to see adjusted.
“I think this plan provides a good guide for the next few years,” Corey said. “I personally would like to see even more funds sent toward drainage and street improvements, but I think the guide provides a good base.”
Grubbs said the advantage of developing a capital improvement plan is that it gives the board an organized and flexible list of projects that it wants to pay particular attention to starting.
“This is trying to think in front of yourself. We’re trying to say ‘These are things we like. We want to put them in some priority.’ It’s not a situation where you’re sworn to do it because you’ve got to have the money,” Grubbs said. “The other good thing about Starkville doing this (is) most cities don’t do this.”