As detailed in the October/November 2008 issue of The Arvada Report, a citizens’ committee called the Arvada Capital Improvement Committee (Committee) convened in September of 2007 and met over the course of year to prioritize needed capital improvement projects throughout the community. The group of 33 citizens logged thousands of hours in meetings, hearing presentations and coming up with appropriate methodologies to prioritize a list of identified projects which have a cost exceeding $150 million dollars.
In forming the Committee, a primary goal of the City Council was to ensure public involvement in decision making regarding the core services provided by the City of Arvada, and instilling a sense of ownership and partnership between citizens and government.
Members of the Committee presented their findings to the Arvada City Council in October of 2008. In terms of budget allocation, the Committee recommended that the City Council allocate approximately $3.4 million and $3.6 million to capital needs in 2009 and 2010, respectively.
The Committee’s top priority is that the City must “take care of what we have.” With that goal in mind, the Committee recommended that the City allocate additional dollars to street capital maintenance (overlay and other major street repair projects). In 2008, the City budgeted approximately $2.6 million dollars; it was recommended that this be increased by $1.5 million for 2009 and 2010.
Secondly, the Committee recommended a funding increase for transportation improvements in order to add some capacity to the City’s streets. Their list of proposed projects include adding turn lanes, placing more street lights, widening certain sections of streets, etc. Limited revenues prevented the Committee from recommending major transportation projects such as widening W. 72nd Avenue from two lanes to four lanes between Kipling Street and Ward Road; nevertheless the recommended projects will alleviate some traffic issues throughout the community.
Thirdly, and again keeping the goal of “taking care of what we have” in mind, the Committee recommended additions to the City’s parks capital maintenance budget. The City’s park system has dated irrigation systems, playgrounds, trails, etc. The Committee recommended budgeting an additional $500,000 annually towards improvements in this regard.
Beyond maintaining existing assets, the Committee prioritized other projects. Over the next five years it was recommended that the following projects be pursued: improving sidewalks along Ralston Road between Olde Wadsworth Boulevard and Garrison Street; adding trails; completing some improvements along W. 72nd Avenue near the Apex Center; adding permanent restrooms at the Stenger/Lutz complex (a complex visited by over one million people on an annual basis); purchasing two new parks in the southern and eastern portions of Arvada; replacing the median along W. 80th Avenue between Sheridan and Wadsworth Boulevards, and replacing the bridge at W. 74th Avenue and Simms Street over the Croke Canal.
The following table illustrates the projects the Committee identified for funding over the next five years.
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Add’l Street Capital $600,000
Ralston Road Sidewalks $500,000 $1,000,000
Street capital improvements $600,000
and capital maint.
Parks capital maintenance $500,000 $600,000 $500,000 $500,000 $500,000
Trail Projects $300,000
72nd, Apex to Indiana $525,000
Stenger/Lutz restrooms $500,000 $500,000
South Central Park $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $800,000
80th Median Wadsworth $950,000
East Arvada Park $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $800,000
67th and Ward medians $175,000
Olde Town sidewalk widening $500,000
Wadsworth medians $165,000
64th to 67th
Beeman Park completion $258,735
Double E Park $639,004
Four Acre Park $443,585
Total $3,450,000 $3,600,000 $2,500,000 $3,723,735 $2,582,589
As illustrated in the above table, there are insufficient revenues to complete identified projects in addition to funding street and transportation capital needs. The Committee examined a variety of funding sources available for operating and capital needs, as well as various options for raising additional revenues. Ultimately the Committee recommended that the City analyze the implementation of a Transportation Maintenance Fee, which would be charged to residential and commercial property owners based on street usage or some other criteria. The Committee believed that a fee of approximately $4 per month per owner would generate sufficient revenues to better meet the City’s overall transportation needs.
The Committee also reviewed six major, unfunded transportation projects identified in the City of Arvada’s Comprehensive Plan. Priority was given to widening W. 72nd Avenue from two lanes to four lanes between Kipling and McIntyre Streets, and widening W. 80th Avenue from two lanes to four lanes between Alkire and Kipling Streets. However, these two projects, combined, have an estimated total cost of over $110 million. Ultimately, although the Committee recognized the importance of these projects, they had no recommendations for the City Council in terms of funding.
The Committee recognized the need to put funding towards enhancements of the three proposed Gold Line transit stops (part of the overall FasTracks program). The total estimated cost of such enhancements, including a parking garage, exceeds $13 million. The Committee recommended that the City begin to plan for these expenditures and any match required by the Regional Transportation District (RTD).
On November 10, the City staff presented their CIP recommendations for 2009 – 2010 based upon the Citizen Committee’s recommendations. The City Council approved the following for 2009 and 2010:
Projects 2009 2010
Transportation Capital Maintenance
Street lights, intersection improvements,
sidewalk repair, etc. $782,000 $1,337,000
Additional monies for Street Overlay $600,000 $700,000
Study of Ralston Road improvements $100,000 $100,000
Parks Capital Maintenance $500,000 $500,000
Main Restrooms at Stenger $700,000
City’s match for the purchase of two new park properties $800,000
New Trails $300,000
Wadsworth Median repair 64th to 67th $365,000
Total $3,782,000 $3,002,000
The staff attempted to meet most of the Committee’s recommendations in the five year plan. However, expenditures in 2011 – 2013 will be contingent upon a revitalized economy and/or identifying additional revenue sources to meet future infrastructure needs.