The preliminary budget for Wellington’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) was discussed by the Wellington Village Council in a workshop session on Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Proposed CIP recommendations include modifying various canal drainage systems in the Acme Improvement District, investing in communications and technology, creating new neighborhood signs, updating multi-modal trail systems, expanding multi-use pathways, improving and rehabilitating pump stations, planning and designing a new Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office substation, as well as funding for the Town Center project and the Wellington High School Sport Complex.
Director of Administrative & Financial Services Tanya Quickel began the late afternoon workshop with a presentation to the council.
“We have a total of $7,806,500 in [proposed] projects,” Quickel explained. “First, we have our Acme Renewal & Replacement Program. This is the fifth year of this program.”
Funding for the program comes from a $30 per unit increase in Acme’s annual assessment that was implemented in 2015. The program funds significant modifications and improvements to the drainage system in order to comply with water quality requirements mandated by state and federal agencies.
Over the past several years, the drainage system has been stressed by severe rainfall accumulations, which the improvements are designed to accommodate.
Already in progress, improvements are being made to various canals. Next year’s funding will replace a culvert on the C-4 Canal at Greenbriar Blvd. The total budgeted for next year is $740,000, increasing the funding to $2,140,000.
“The next area is Pump Station Rehabilitation,” Quickel said. “We have rehabilitations of the trash rakes and equipment upgrades at pump stations 8 and 4. The pump station 3 renewal replacement was completed this year.”
The upcoming budget is proposed at $400,000 for Pump Station Rehabilitation to make a total investment of $1,975,000.
Neighborhood signs are proposed to be updated throughout the village for an additional $80,000 from general revenues, totaling $230,000. The program will upgrade or replace neighborhood entrance signs throughout the community. The materials will be more durable and consistent in order to have uniform aesthetics to the signage. The estimated replacement schedule will see one to three signs per year replaced or upgraded.
Essex Park and Brampton Park will see a neighborhood park improvement upgrade, as the budget will increase $450,000, making a total expenditure of $790,000. In Essex Park, an observation deck, as well as sidewalks, a water fountain, mulch and lighting will be items that will get funded. A $200,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant funded by the United States Department of the Interior is already being used for park improvements at Dorchester Park.
“Essex Park is in progress,” Quickel said. “We will be applying for another grant once Dorchester Park is closed out. Essex Park is just getting started.”
In the first year of a five-year program, the Neighborhood Pipe Lining Program addresses areas where inspections indicate significant deterioration and imminent failure in neighborhood drainage pipes. The program will reline old corrugated metal drainage pipes with new fiberglass liners that will extend the life of the existing pipes. The Eastwood neighborhood off Birkdale Drive will be the first to see the improvements. With $300,000 budgeted per year, the program will begin after October.
The budget initiates a plan to relocate and construct a new Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office building totaling just over $6 million. The initial expenditures next year of $600,000 will be used for the project’s planning stages.
Village Manager Paul Schofield explained that there are substations in Palm Beach County that have existing plans and designs that can be used to keep the cost down. Instead of starting from scratch, the detailed plans can be used.
“Because it’s an emergency management building, it has some security issues that we don’t normally have,” Schofield explained.
Councilman John McGovern asked the manager what the future holds for negotiating the PBSO contract, since each year the contract increases.
“That feels like a very high number to me,” McGovern said. “Has there been any discussion with the sheriff’s office as we go down this road on a $6 million project?”
McGovern noted that the PBSO adds a percentage increase to its law enforcement contract each year and that perhaps the money spent on the new substation could offset that in some way.
“We have had this discussion,” Schofield said. “Every year we have this discussion with them about what we want to pay.”
McGovern replied, “I feel like it’s not a discussion. We ask, and they say no, and then it ends.”
Schofield explained that the contract pays for specific personnel services.
“Essentially, the contract says that we pay the personnel costs and any of the costs we have for equipment facilities,” he said.
The old sheriff’s facilities will become part of the Public Works Department storage facility. The roadway will be opened on Pierson Road allowing horse vehicles to use the old throughway from Pierson Road to Greenbriar Blvd.
Also in the budget, Tiger Shark Cove Park will get a full-court basketball court and concrete sidewalk. The redesign of the roadway will help to make crossing safer. The project will cost $382,000 coming out of the general revenues.
The Town Center Boardwalk on Lake Wellington will cost a total of $2,300,000 for constructing a retaining wall and boardwalk. Funds will come from the general revenues and sales surtax sources, totaling $1,500,000 budgeted for next year.
Village Park will get a field renovation, which adds to the $1,010,000 that is in progress, totaling an investment of $1,310,000 to improve and rebuild drainage, fence a park field and follow up on increasing fencing in subsequent years.
The Wellington High School Sport Complex will be funded, planned, designed, constructed and maintained to the tune of $10,369,000.
The sports parcel will see four synthetic turf athletic fields, eight tennis courts, three basketball courts on the high school campus, but doesn’t include the proposed swimming pool, which would increase the lease for 10 more years.
A decision on building the pool will be made at a later date.