capital improvement plan

Bellevue’s long-awaited capital improvement plan aims to fix up city infrastructure—including City Hall—and develop a new town square.

The Bellevue City Council voted Monday to approve a $3.44 million capital improvement plan that will set funding goals for city infrastructure for the next five years.

The plan includes $200,000 recently added for a new town square.

“This will do a lot for Bellevue in the years to come,” Mayor Ned Burns said.

A primary reason for the plan was to establish a development impact fee that would be correlated to the plan and charged to developers to offset the impacts of new development on city services.

It appeared on Monday that some on the council and staff wanted to keep the capital improvement plan’s projection of future costs low to not scare away developers, while others at times thought increasing funding for certain departments was the right thing to do for residents.

Councilman Doug Brown insisted that the amount projected for street redevelopment be increased from $190,000.

“Every time we talk about capital improvement we talk about our goofy streets,” Brown said. “What I don’t see in the plan is a way to get a down payment for a bond.”

Mayor Ned Burns said that it’s no secret that the city is “several million dollars in the hole” with regard to the need for street repairs. The council was reminded by staff that it would take $1 million just to rebuild Pine Street.

Consultant Richard Caplan, who wrote the capital improvement plan and will devise a development impact fee based on it, said additional revenue for streets would likely come from grants. He advised against making the CIP projections too high.

“The plan can’t be so unrealistic that a developer will challenge it [in court],” Caplan said.

Councilwoman Tammy Davis said it would be wiser to think of the citizens of Bellevue.

“If this is going to be used as a development tool, it should be beneficial from all viewpoints,” Davis said.

Councilman Greg Cappel said that if the CIP showed very high projections that were too “pie in the sky” it would be a disincentive to developers, but then proposed increasing the street improvement goal by $1 million.

After much haggling, the commission voted to approve the plan with an additional $300,000 for street work.

The CIP will now go back to Caplan, who will compute a development impact fee for final review by the City Council, perhaps by November.

Other Bellevue news

A resolution was passed Monday declaring Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

The council agreed to spend $11,043 to repair a driveway at the Fire Station.

The city purchased a newly updated policing manual at a cost of $750.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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