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Committee Takes First Look at Draft Capital Program

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Committee Takes First Look at Draft Capital Program

Monday, May 11, 2015

As an early step preparing for the 2016 County Budget process, Tompkins County Administrator Joe Mareane today presented the Legislature’s Facilities and Infrastructure Committee the first draft of the County’s proposed 2016-2020 Capital Program.  Administrator Mareane stressed that the Plan is still a work in progress, and will be reviewed again in late summer.

Among capital projects contained in the draft plan, continuing the multi-year program to address deferred capital maintenance issues in County buildings at a total cost of $2.4 million, a stepped-up schedule of $800,000 each year.  Long-discussed bus stop improvements at the Health Department to allow easier bus access would begin with design in 2016 with construction the following year. Also related to facilities, the Plan also includes replacement of obsolete analog cameras and access control system at the Jail.

Road and bridge projects include a multi-year program for capital improvements of roads and bridges—continuing at $1.2 million per year for 2016 and 2017 and increasing to $1.8 million a year for 2019 and 2020, as included in the County’s 20-year capital improvement plan.  Phase III of Ellis Hollow Road reconstruction, between Game Farm and Pine Tree Roads, at total cost estimated at $782,000, now currently in design, is scheduled for construction in 2016.  The first phase of Coddington Road Reconstruction, involving safety improvements at the Burns and East King intersections (total cost:  $1.4 million), is planned for construction in 2017; full reconstruction of Coddington, included in the Plan with an estimated $5.7 million for design in 2020, would be  contingent on securing federal and state aid.  Bridge replacements at South George Road, Dodge Road, Freese Road, and Malloryville Road are also included.  The Plan continues the multi-year Aquifer Study program—about $77,000 per year. 

Projects for the County’s two enterprise units, the Airport and Solid Waste, are funded by revenue from those divisions, not by property taxes, and Airport projects, substantially funded with user fees and federal and state aid reimbursement, will be undertaken only if such support is available.  They include expansion of rental car parking, general aviation apron rehabilitation, and parallel taxiway rehabilitation, all scheduled to begin in 2016, and installation of LED airfield and taxiway lighting, to begin in 2017. 

The biggest projects would be nearly $6 million in terminal security and baggage area improvements (which would depend on projected increases in passenger volumes and other funding sources) and a nearly $6 million complete runway overlay, included in the Plan for 2016, which would require a brief summertime closure of the Airport during construction.  One potential 2016 Airport project would prepare Airport-owned land in the Cherry Road area for future development in a manner that would generate additional airport revenue, dependent on a development arrangement that would help support the cost. 

Solid Waste projects include $1.5 million in capital maintenance for the County Solid Waste facility and leachate management at the Casewell Road landfill, bonding for both projects approved by the Legislature last week.