Bellevue’s city hall

Under the CIP, Bellevue’s city hall could get an upgrade.

The Bellevue City Council reviewed on Monday an update to the city’s capital improvement plan, citing a need for additional funding for the relocation of a city shop from the floodplain near the Howard Preserve.

The draft CIP calls for about $2.35 million in capital improvements, or city infrastructure projects, from 2020 to 2025. It was written based on input from all city departments as to what they would require over the next five years.

The plan will be used to establish the city’s first development impact fee, which will be used to assess developers for future financial impacts.

Richard Caplan presented the plan, saying it needed to be “somewhat aspirational, but also realistic.”

The plan was already approved and recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission. It projects $2,357,100 in infrastructure expenses by 2025, including about $1 million for the Wastewater Department, $500,000 for the Fire Department, $371,100 for the Water Department, $125,000 for community development, $100,000 for administration, $91,500 for streets, $52,500 for the library, $50,000 for buildings and grounds, $43,000 for parks and none for the Marshal’s Office.

City Councilman Greg Cappel took issue with a line item of $58,000 for the city shop relocation, pointing out that no property was identified for the move. As a result, the council agreed to increase the projected funding for the buildings and grounds department by about $200,000.

“That is at least a move in the right direction,” Cappel said.

Councilman Doug Brown said he would prefer to not prioritize the shop relocation in favor of other expenses. He has been determined in recent months to have the city provide for street redevelopment.

The CIP, which can be updated annually, will be used to compute a development impact fee that could bring significant revenue to the city. Caplan said infrastructure costs could also be covered using general fund revenue, grants, county funds and donations.

Caplan said his calculation assumes that two-thirds of Strahorn subdivision would be built out in 20 years, yielding 197 new units. It also accounts for a steady increase in infill development of about 91 new homes.

The expected annexation of the Eccles’ Flying Hat Ranch is not included in the CIP. On Monday, Brown asked Mayor Ned Burns if he thought the Flying Hat Ranch annexation would break ground within three or four years.

“I would be very happy if that were true,” Burns said.

Several council members said they wanted time to review the plan further before approving it.

The public hearing on the CIP was continued to Sept. 28. 

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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