On Feb. 4 the Garland City Council approved the 2014 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) which outlines the planned investments in the City’s infrastructure, municipal facilities, specialized equipment, and economic development initiatives over the next five years. In particular, the CIP details a $173.8 million work program for the 2014 calendar year that focuses on making progress toward the completion of the 2004 bond program, making enhancements in the City utilities, and continuing the exciting transformation of Garlands Historic Downtown.
The tax-supported portion of the CIP totals $74.2 million and is heavily weighted toward Street and Transportation projects, most of which were approved as part of the 2004 Bond Program. Economic Development is also emphasized with the continuation of the City Center Development and construction of the Walnut Street Pedestrian Corridor. The CIP also addresses Public Safety needs including construction of a new Fire Station No. 5, the replacement of fire apparatus, and design work for the almost $24 million replacement of the City’s critical radio communications system.
In addition, the CIP includes funding for the City’s libraries to update and expand the materials collection and to provide for facility improvements. Project highlights in the Park program include construction of a dog park, design work on expansion of the Audubon Recreation Center, soccer field lighting, ongoing trail development, and park playground improvements. Furthermore, the tax-supported portion of the CIP includes the continued construction of Waste Cell #6 and the replacement of several pieces of critical equipment at the Hinton Landfill.
The revenue-supported portion of the 2014 CIP includes $98.4 million in projects related to City utilities, including $4.5 million to replace a portion of the Environmental Waste Service collection fleet and to purchase 95-gallon recycling containers for the expansion of the Automated Collection Single Stream Recycling Program. Water projects total $21.3 million with a majority of the funding going toward Phase I of the West Pressure Plane Improvements to ensure adequate water pressure in Southwest Garland. The Wastewater program is $20.4 million and includes processing improvements to meet environmental standards and reduce odors at the Rowlett Creek and Duck Creek Plants. Finally, $52.3 million is allocated for Garland Power & Light infrastructure which includes the Texas Competitive Renewable Zone (CREZ) transmission line.
Approval of the CIP will require the issuance of approximately $14.9 million in tax supported debt and 34.1 million in revenue supported debt. Approval of the CIP will not increase the property tax rate for fiscal year 2014-15, although it is expected to cause a $1.23 increase to monthly residential solid waste rates and contribute a modest amount toward the rate increase already anticipated for Water in FY 2014-15.
For more information about the City of Garland budget, please visit GarlandTx.gov.