Laundry lists of high-profile community projects with even higher dollar amounts can be daunting — you don’t have to tell that to the Windsor Town Board.
But the board and staff on Monday took the first steps toward prioritizing a list of 22 projects that, according to early budget estimates, could cost upward of $96 million. Putting a priority on infrastructure and public works, the board agreed there would be plenty of future discussions about which projects should be at the top of the list and, more importantly, how to pay for each.
Members stressed that big-ticket projects like the proposed Community Recreation Center expansion, Diamond Valley Park build-out and the Northern Integrated Supply Project inflated a significant portion of the final figure. When combined, those long-term and uncertain endeavors account for nearly $58 million of the final figure, potentially skewing the final report.
”What gets lost in this is the really important projects that we can fund with revenues we’re currently collecting,” Mayor John Vazquez stressed, adding that being fiscally responsible and staying out of debt was, as usual, priority No. 1 as everyone starts looking at the unfunded plans.
The board placed special priority on infrastructure and water needs while questioning some of the other street projects, which include proposed roundabouts and park improvements.
Additionally, members agreed there was a dire need for a new public works and parks shop building, proposed to be near Diamond Valley — estimated to weigh in at about $8 million.
“I think it’s something we have to look at and we have to do sooner rather than later,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Kristie Melendez, adding that in her mind, it is the third most important piece of Windsor behind town hall and the police station. “Whatever that cost is, we have to take a look at that.”
Staff is expected to prepare a more detailed five-year capital improvement structure during the next few months before any final decisions are made. It will also work to explore different and reliable funding streams including the existing capital improvement fund, park improvement fund, water fees, grants and other partnerships.
“I pay taxes for everything on this list,” said board member Ivan Adams. “I just think there are a lot of other good projects in here, and I don’t want them to be ignored.”
To see the complete list, which was presented in the board’s weekly packet, go to www.windsorgov.com.