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Executive Director Kristin Gearhart manages resume curbside service at the Bellevue Public Library.

The Bellevue Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday voted to recommend a draft $2,357,100 capital improvement plan to the City Council, reducing projected city infrastructure expenses by about $2.4 million over the next five years.

The P&Z also recommended that the council require an annual review of developments in the city and consider relocation of a city shop from the floodplain near the Howard Preserve, as recommended by Bellevue resident Tom Blanchard.

The changes to the CIP reflect an adjustment to city department expectations since the original $4.8 million draft CIP was presented to the P&Z earlier this month. The amended draft shows an increase in funding for the water and wastewater budgets and a substantial decrease in funding for city streets.

A capital improvement plan involves evaluation of the city’s infrastructure, a prioritized list of projects and a schedule for the projects’ completion as well as cost estimates.

The CIP update, the first since 2014, will be used to establish the city’s first development impact fee. The fee would be charged to developers based on a prorated projected cost for improvements needed to accommodate new growth in the city.

The amended draft CIP reduces expenses for the Street Department from $1.16 million to $91,000, with the expectation of funding from a grant to help the city complete a $392,000 Broadford Road shared use path from Main Street.

“I made it more realistic in terms of our goals,” Public Works Director Frank Suwanrit said in an interview. “Originally I thought the CIP was more of a wish list.”

Water and wastewater expenses combined were decreased from about $1.9 million to about $1.4 million and will include the cost of completion of a years-long water-metering project, Suwanrit said.

Incoming P&Z Commissioner Alexis Lindberg questioned projected expenses of $550,069 for the Fire Department and $52,000 for the public library, which she said may not be viable during the pandemic.

Fire Chief Greg Beaver said the funding for his department would include the construction of a training room, gear room and shower at the fire station.

“We’re trying to keep up with the times,” Beaver said.

Bellevue Associate Planner Ashley Dyer, who presented the draft CIP Monday, said that as far as she knows, the Bellevue Public Library is a “permanent part of the city of Bellevue.”

The City Council will review the draft CIP in coming weeks before making a final determination.

Dyer said the CIP could be changed annually if necessary.

“This is a living document,” she said.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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