Kennett Square officials consider updated Capital Improvement Program
By Steven Hoffman
Kennett Square Borough Manager Brant Kucera presented borough council with a draft of an updated five-year Capital Improvement Program last week.
Kucera has been an advocate for having a Capital Improvement Program in place because it allows the borough to budget for necessary infrastructure improvements on an annual basis. He noted that a failure to plan and budget adequately for these maintenance projects would result in higher costs and more expensive repairs in the future.
“We’ve made really good strides with planning for the borough’s future,” Kucera said. “Many projects have been accomplished.”
The borough council adopted the Capital Improvement Program for 2013-2017 in October of 2012. The updated plan covers 2014-2018 with estimated expenditures of approximately $10.1 million.
Projects are divided into streets, water utility, sewer utility, and parking categories. Kucera noted that many of the projects currently included in the Capital Improvement Program over the next five years are already underway and some of them are near completion. One of them is a project to install a closed-loop system for traffic lights. The borough secured a grant from PennDOT to pay for most of the project, which has an estimated cost of $ 2,344,700.
Approximately $1.2 million in streetscape improvements for West Cypress Street are included in the budget for 2014 ($90,000) and 2015 ($1,145,700). This project extends from the western gateway of the borough to Center Street. The borough received a county grant to help pay for the project, which is expected to be completed in 2016.
Funding for streetscape improvements for Birch Street are included in the 2016 ($24,000) and 2017 ($1,369,500) plans. Most of the funding, again, would come from a grant—the borough is awaiting approval of the grant before moving foward.. The project will include water and sewer line improvements, street reconstruction, curbing and sidewalks, and street lighting.
The borough also plans to spend a total of about $528,000 over the next four years to fund an ongoing water meter replacement program. Kucera said that the new meters would be more efficient and more accurate, and will reduce the workload for borough employees.
For sewer utilities, the borough is planning to spend a total of $661,000 in improvement projects: $375,000 on the South Street Pump Station, and $286,000 on an Ultra Violet Disinfection System replacement at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. This project will need DEP approval before it can be started.
An expansion of the borough’s parking garage is anticipated to cost $3.1 million. Kucera noted that the vacated district court building would allow for an expansion of the garage if borough officials decide to go in that direction. In the Capital Improvement Program plan, the funding for the expansion would come from a $1.5 million economic development grant, $500,000 in private funding, and $1.1 million from bonds. This expansion would yield about 200 additional parking spaces.
The Kennett Fire Company is asking the borough and neighboring Kennett Township to contribute $600,000 each to help pay for a new ladder truck.
The Capital Improvement Program also includes $150,000 earmarked for a financial software package that would eliminate some redundancies that are in the current system that is over 10 years old; $42,700 for a new chipper, and $15,000 for a color copier/printer.
Kennett Square Borough Council will consider adopting the updated Capital Improvement Program at its next meeting on Monday, October 20.To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email firstname.lastname@example.org