Andover forecasts future projects, equipment needs

Andover has a few sizable projects on tap for 2013, according to a budget planning document the city council approved Oct. 16.

An expansion of the Andover YMCA/Community Center for a youth center, additional meeting rooms, office space, library services, storage, hockey training and multi-purpose space is forecast for 2013 and 2014 in Andover’s recently approved capital improvement plan. A general obligation bond issued by the city and additional lease revenue from the YMCA are the anticipated revenue sources. Photo by Eric Hagen

An expansion of the Andover YMCA/Community Center for a youth center, additional meeting rooms, office space, library services, storage, hockey training and multi-purpose space is forecast for 2013 and 2014 in Andover’s recently approved capital improvement plan. A general obligation bond issued by the city and additional lease revenue from the YMCA are the anticipated revenue sources. Photo by Eric Hagen

Andover updates a five-year capital improvement plan (CIP) every year. The most recently approved plan covers the years 2013 through 2017.

In characterizing the CIP, City Administrator Jim Dickinson told the council that, “anything beyond 2013 is planning by nature, but will be looked on next year as we go through that planning process and bring it forward.”

Residents can visit the city’s website (www.ci.andover.mn.us) to view the 118-page plan and get an idea of what projects and equipment purchases are on the city’s radar.

The projects included in a CIP pertain to roads, sanitary and storm sewer, water system, parks and trails, and the community center, for example. Equipment purchases for the fire and public works departments are also covered.

For 2013, Andover is budgeting around $7.1 million for CIP expenditures.

Road projects are typically what the city spends the most on in its CIP budget and next year is no exception. Of the total $7.1 million, approximately 43 percent will be set aside for road projects.

Reconstructing Nightingale Street from Crosstown Boulevard to 161st Avenue, reconstructing streets in the Stenquist Addition and 159th Avenue between Seventh Avenue and Marystone Boulevard are the largest individual projects taking place. However, seal coating projects to prolong the lives of roads before reconstruction is needed are also factored in.

City Engineer and Public Works Director David Berkowitz said letters have already been mailed out to people in 2013 road reconstruction project areas. The city typically hosts neighborhood meetings before citizens come to public hearings before the council.

The 2013-2017 CIP anticipates road reconstruction projects beyond 2013 to be Makah Street, Prairie Road (Andover to Crosstown boulevards) and Station Parkway (Crosstown to Hanson boulevards) in 2014; Lakeview Terrace, Lundgreen Oakridge, Kemps Addition, Country Estates and Howard-Temple Addition in 2016; and Prairie Meadows and Langseth-Thrane 1st and 2nd additions in 2017.

“2013 and 2014 are usually fixed,” Berkowitz said. “The other ones can move in and out depending on the road condition.”

Facility management covers building upgrade items such as roof replacements or repairs, new flooring, building additions and so on. From 2008 through 2012, facility management has accounted for as little as .76 percent of the CIP budget for the year (2009) and as much as 14.17 percent (2008).

Water projects during this time period have normally been the second highest expenditure category for CIPs. This year it is facility management at 26.6 percent of the 2013 CIP projected expenditures.

The city is under contract to purchase land west of the public works building, which is east of Nightingale Street and north of Crosstown Boulevard. This will accommodate material storage, a recycling center and future facility expansion. Roof replacements at city hall, which includes the senior center, and fire stations No. 1 and No. 2 will also be significant expenses in 2013.

Park projects are typically a miniscule portion of the CIP, but 2013 looks to be different thanks to a proposed athletic complex on the northeast corner of 161st Avenue and Tulip Street.

The council July 3 agreed to pay Legacy Christian Academy $305,000 for this 39-acre site. LCA had once planned to build a new school here, but has since shifted to a site in Ramsey at the northwest corner of Highway 10 and Armstrong Boulevard.

There is no specific plan beyond having fields for soccer, football and lacrosse, but the budget for this project is currently estimated to be $800,000.

Actual dollar amounts are subject to change based on bids and whether the council ultimately decides to approve a project. Inclusion in the CIP does not mean it will happen. For example, a pedestrian trail under Crosstown Boulevard by Sunshine Park was discussed at a council workshop in February 2006, according to a staff note in the CIP. That has yet to happen.

Equipment in 2013

“Staff continues to keep a tight watch on our spending,” Councilmember Julie Trude said. “We’re looking at equipment replacement only when the cost-benefit process that shows that it’s an appropriate time to replace snowplows, aging equipment vehicles…”

The fire department has the fourth highest 2013 CIP budget at 8.4 percent of the total $7.1 million. Replacing a 1991 ladder truck with a new one is estimated to cost $1.2 million. This amount will be split between 2013 and 2014 to help reduce the impact on the tax levy in 2013, Dickinson said.

Paying for half of a new fire truck is the largest equipment expenditure by far Andover is budgeting for next year. Replacing two trucks that can have snowplow blades attached are the next largest expenditures.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com


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