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Posted on Nov 25, 2015

City of Quincy proposes $9.5 million budget

At a public hearing on Tuesday, the Quincy City Council will present a $9.5 million budget for the coming year.
The city budget, which will be discussed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, projects nearly $5.3 million in operating expenditures, up about $300,000 from this year.
The 2016 budget also projects $3.6 million in property tax revenues to be generated, which is about double what was generated in 2014. Total tax dollars to be generated in 2016 is estimated at nearly $6.4 million. The city already this year has generated $6.9 million in various tax revenues.
The 2016 budget again indicates the city will be in a growing year, with several construction projects, in a variety of stages, planned.
“We need to put that money back into our community,” Mayor Jim Hemberry said of the coming year.
Among those projects is the ongoing construction of the city’s $5.4 million municipal complex that will house the police department and city hall. The first phase of that project got underway this fall.
The first phase includes the project’s new construction portion, which is building a new police department. It is expected to be done by this summer, Hemberry said. Phase two then includes the remodeling of the old library adjacent to the current city administration building. Existing city offices then will be remodeled into an evidence and training room for the police department in the third phase.
The entire project should be completed by spring 2017, Hemberry said.
The city is building the project without borrowing any money. The city budgeted $3.8 million in 2015 for the project and another $3.6 million for next year.
Other projects and newly budgeted items in the coming year include:
wThe city will finish the lighting on the new walking and biking path that connects 7th Avenue and 13th Avenue Southwest. The $216,000 path was completed in early August. It serves as a connection to not only Monument School but Lauzier Park as well. It was paid for with mostly grant dollars from the Department of Transportation; however, lighting pushed the project over budget last year. The city has budgeted about $100,000 for installation of the lights.
wBecause the lighted speed limit signs at the city’s three main entrances to town were such a hit, the city plans to install lighted school zone signs near the schools in the coming year. The project is expected to cost about $57,760.
wNext year the city will add another school resource officer, bringing its total to three officers working in the schools. The city received a three-year, $125,000 grant for that position, which is paid for in part by the Quincy School District.
wAlong with the school resource officer, the city will add three new employees. The new positions will come in the police department (a police clerk and sargeant) and the finance department (a receptionist).
wThe northeast section of town will see a major road improvement project. Sixth Avenue and A Street Northeast, near the new Quincy Animal Shelter, will be paved and sidewalks and curbs and gutters will be added. The city also will turn a vacant lot in that portion of town into a green space for the neighborhood. That project will cost nearly $119,000 in engineering, $120,000 to purchase right of way and $1.1 million for construction.
wThe city also will begin to tackle the question of how best to solve traffic congestion problems at 13th Avenue Southwest and Highway 28. The city has budgeted $350,000 to hire an engineering firm to investigate and design a solution.
wThe city is budgeting nearly $175,000 for the design of an emergency services building on the city’s north side. Council members have talked about building a two-bay satellite station on the north side of the railroad tracks that will house at least one fire truck. The city does not have property for the facility; however, the mayor anticipates a location will be identified soon. Construction on that project would not begin until 2017, Hemberry said.
wThe city has budgeted $10.2 million for continuing work on a massive project that integrates its industrial and municipal wastewater treatment systems. The $24 million project will be paid for in large part with grants. The city is designing a “one-water” system that addresses water supply and water quality issues. The Quincy Water Reuse Utility project is a four-phased, multiple-year water infrastructure project that’s expected to be completed by 2018. The city currently is on phase three.
wThe budget also shows a $29,441 deficit in the “refuse division.” Next year residents may be looking at a rate increase in domestic sewer to make up for that deficit, Hemberry said.
Not in the budget is the acquisition of land for a future city-owned recreation center, which has been talked about often among the city council. At this time, the city is building up its revenues for the future construction of such a center, Hemberry said. In the meantime, the recreation manager has been tasked with looking at how other cities’ budgets to determine how much it would cost to run a recreation center, the mayor said.
Hemberry hopes to see the city “flesh out” a location and plan for the future in the coming year; however, he doesn’t anticipate breaking ground on a recreation center until at least 2018.


— By Jill FitzSimmons,

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