IOW OKs resolution for CIP

Published 9:50 am Saturday, February 28, 2015

Insisting that “it’s just a plan,” and not a commitment to spend, the majority of Isle of Wight Supervisors recently voted to adopt the fiscal years 2016-2025 Capital Improvements Plan.

“The CIP addresses capital needs for next 10 years,” Assistant County Administrator Charles Meeks said during a public hearing. “It’s a financial planning tool to address fiscal constraints.”

To be eligible, CIPs are major repair and maintenance projects that cost over $50,000 and are durable for at least five years.

CIP 5 Year Expenditures

CIP 5 Year Expenditures

The CIP plan looks ahead to the first five years, and for that time $59.5 million would be needed for a Public Utilities Fund, Stormwater Fund and General Government Fund; over the 10 years it would be $168.3 million.

The majority of CIP expenses over the next five years would be: 44 percent for public safety and 42 percent for transportation. Public buildings and facilities, parks and recreation and economic development would each cost 4 percent; and public schools at 2 percent. Revenue sources would be GO bonds at 52 percent; federal/private/state at 36 percent; and general fund at 12 percent.

Fine-tuning all this would come in the springtime, but CIP opponents were ready with their arguments at the hearing.

“My concern is they [the projects] be paid for if they’re voted on, and not raise taxes,” said Volpe Boykins from Walters Highway. “We don’t need in this program is a water deal by a different name.”

CIP 5 Year Revenue Sources

CIP 5 Year Revenue Sources

“All I see is wasteful spending,” said a resident from the Hardy District.

“Where are we doing to get money to pay for lawsuits,” asked Fred Mitchell of Carrollton, referring to suits involving International Paper and former economic development director Lisa Perry.

“I think this is a great plan if the money’s there,” he added.

Newport District Supervisor Byron “Buzz” Bailey told Carrsville Supervisor Rex Alphin, “Mr. Chairman, this is just a plan. You have to have something to go by. I agree with some of the things that people said. I, for one, being a conservative would vote no on a lot of them. We have to think about our citizens.”

County Administrator Anne Seward also said the hearing starts the process, and urged taking advantage of grants.

“If you don’t ever make a plan, you’ll just kick it from year to year,” she said.

Expressing his concern about sources of money, Smithfield District Supervisor said no during the voting.