By Steve Hoffman
Kennett Square Borough Manager Brant Kucera outlined the borough’s capital improvement plan for the next five years on Oct. 3. Overall, the borough could make more than $13 million in total infrastructure improvements during the course of the plan, which includes public works projects, water and sewer upgrades, and an expansion of the municipal parking garage. There will be grant money from the state and county or contributions from private sources to pay for significant portions of these projects.
Kucera estimated that the borough already has about $2 million in grants to pay for the various projects, including a $512,000 Community Revitalization Program (CRP) grant that was just announced by Chester County.
“That’s very good news for the borough,” Kucera said.
The only major project for the current year is a $1.1 million implementation of a closed-loop traffic signal system that will improve traffic flow through the town. Most of the money for this project is coming from other sources, however.
“The costs of the closed-loop system, other than engineering, are being paid by PennDOT,” Kucera noted.
In 2012, major projects include $1.5 million for a public works garage and $1.1 million to bring the Yeatman Well on line. Other potential projects are a streetscape project for West Cypress Street ($902,550) and South Walnut Street ($768,020). Kucera would also like to budget $5,000 for water meter replacements.
The public works garage will be funded from revenues that were generated from a 2011 tax increase, plus money from the water and sewer funds.
The borough has already received a state grant of $900,000 to pay for the costs for the Yeatman well, which will also allow the borough to reduce the quantity of water that it purchases.
In 2013, the only major expenditure anticipated is $340,000 for the South Street pump station, although officials would also like to allocate $150,000 for additional water meter replacements. Another $36,000 could be invested in improvements for Birch Street. The South Street pump station is older but is still operating, so the project could possibly be delayed, Kucera noted.
In 2014, a bulk of the Birch Street project will take place, with anticipated costs of $1,257,501. The plan is to spend an additional $150,000 for water meter replacements. Another $20,000 could be allocated for UV system replacement for the public sewer system.
In 2015, a majority of the UV system project will take place, at a cost of $739,000. Another $150,000 will be allocated for water meter replacements.
The largest project over the next five years is expected to be the expansion of the parking garage, estimated at $4,950,000, which is now projected to take place in 2015.
Kucera said that the full amount of the costs for the parking garage expansion will come from either the private fundraising efforts of the Kennett Area Community Development organization that is overseeing the gateway revitalization project or from grants that might be available.
If all the projects take place according to the timeline presented Monday night, the total expenditures would be $1,100,000 for 2011, $4,313,570 for 2012, $526,000 for 2013, $1,527,501 for 2014, and $5,839,000 for 2015.
Kennett Square Borough Council unanimously approved adoption of the plan, but Kucera emphasized that it is nothing more than a plan and is subject to change.
“This is much like a budget–it’s a roadmap,” Kucera said, noting that council has the authority to determine the priorities for the projects and no project will move forward if the funding isn’t in place.
Council member Geoffrey Bosley, who serves on the borough’s Finance Committee, echoed this sentiment. “It’s a guide. We can adjust it as we go.”
“We’ll update this on an annual basis,” added Kucera.
To contact Staff Writer Steve Hoffman, e-mail email@example.com.