Capital budget


Right now there is $175,000 set aside for the schools capital reserve maintenance fund and $155,000 for the county capital reserve maintenance fund.  Nichols recommended upping both of those amounts to $200,000, for an increase of $70,000.  Both the county and the schools need to start plugging away at maintenance requests that have been piling up, Nichols explained.

Receiving the most attention was $150,000 earmarked for a restroom facility at Pleasant Grove.  When Supervisor Bob Ullenbruch balked at the price, Public Works Director Wayne Stephens and Director of Parks and Recreation Jason Smith explained that the restroom they have in mind arrives in one piece, can be moved, and never needs exterior maintenance, including new roofing.  Still, some interest existed in pricing out a stick-built restroom, for a softly estimated savings of $30,000.  Supervisors directed staff to work up a maintenance cost analysis to see how much would eventually be spent maintaining a stick-built facility, so that they could better grasp the true cost difference between the two options.

Originally the CIP had money for two Pleasant Grove picnic shelters at a cost of $65,000.  In some areas of Pleasant Grove, a need for shade exists.  These shelters could be rented out for special events such as weddings.  Trying to cut where they could, supervisors suggested going down to one picnic shelter.

At this point Nichols made the point that he would prefer that supervisors either move forward with implementing the Pleasant Grove master plan or temporarily take it off the table, rather than theoretically implementing the plan but picking away at it until not much remains.

Next on the list was a replacement roof for the Fork Union Community Center for $62,620.  The roof needs repair so badly that someone fell through while working on it.  Then came repairing the exterior of the administration building for $38,750.  Bricks have gotten so loose that they have fallen off.

Ullenbruch wanted to make sure that staff does what maintenance they can in-house, rather than contracting all the work out.  Stephens assured him that that is, indeed, the case.

The Monticello Area Community Action Agency (MACAA) building needs another $75,000 in improvements, which will join funds from last year for the roof, HVAC system, and a redesign and reworking of the electrical system.

Though all the light poles and wiring are in place, only a few actual lights are installed outside the sheriff’s office and library.  Conditions apparently get so dark that cars regularly plow through the middle of the two circles that constitute the entry road.  For $39,000, the outside of the buildings will be properly lighted.

Perhaps the most amusing part of the night came when attention turned to the fact that neither the sheriff’s office nor the library has drinkable water.  Some supervisors and people in attendance blinked in disbelief at the news that the library actually has signs advising its visitors not to drink the water.  Supervisors seemed to agree that drinkable water was a need, at a cost of $45,000.

The CIP contains money for ongoing fleet replacement for county vehicles.  This year’s amount is $195,000.  The sheriff’s department needs $64,500 for computer and mobile computer replacement.  There is also $70,000 for Fluvanna fire and rescue personal protective equipment and $210,000 for vehicle replacement/rechassis.

After this, attention turned to the schools.  For scheduled bus replacements, the CIP contains $508,798, enough to purchase six buses.  It is likely that a similar amount of money will be spent next year and possibly in the years to come, as many buses are, to use Superintendent Gena Keller’s word, considerably “antique.”

The CIP also contains $600,000 for wireless technology upgrades and $150,000 for safety and security upgrades.  Supervisor Mike Sheridan mentioned that his laptop only connects in three particular places at the middle school.

Lastly, $50,000 was set aside for student transportation and facilities vehicles, which are used to transport special needs students.

Given that the meeting went until almost midnight, supervisors decided to save their review of capital projects for another night.  Those are the big-ticket items such as water and sewer at Zion Crossroads, additional water supply for the Fork Union Sanitary District, and the James River Water Authority.

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