COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Downtown Scottsville Streetscape Plan Request
The Town of Scottsville requests $502,130.27 for the Main Street portion of its Historic Streetscape Project.
Tucker, Foley, Bowman
LEGAL REVIEW: No
October 4, 2006
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
At the September 6, 2006 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Town of Scottsville requested the County provide funding to assist in completion of the Town’s Historic Streetscape Project. The funding requested to address the shortfall is $502,130.27 and is due to project costs that have increased beyond the original estimate. The background information on this request and project are available in Attachment A: “Information provided to the Board on September 6, 2006.” The Valley Street segment of this streetscape project has been fully funded and construction is planned to move forward. The additional requested funding would allow for completion of the Main Street portion of the project. On September 6, The Board deferred action until its October 4, 2006 meeting in order to evaluate possible alternatives for providing funding.
Assistance to the Town of Scottsville was not anticipated in the County’s Strategic Plan
If the Board desires to provide funding for this project, several options exist through the County’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funding. The project could be funded by either utilizing the CIP’s reserve balance or existing funding specified for infrastructure improvements. However, as the Board is aware, the CIP reserve balance is maintained to manage year-to-year fluctuations in the CIP and current project costs are expected to increase approximately 30% in the new CIP that will be before the Board during the County’s budget process.
Furthermore, should the Board choose to utilize existing infrastructure funding, the diverted funds would possibly delay future projects, thus increase projects’ costs in the County’s Neighborhood Implementation and Sidewalk Plans. Examples of projects in these plans are the completed Four Seasons Drive and Route 20 North sidewalks and the to-be-completed downtown Crozet streetscape project. The Board also has undesignated funds for transportation available, but again, diverting funds will impact the County’s future ability to implement its identified projects. As the Board is aware from its September 15, 2006 Retreat on “Funding the County’s Future Needs,” the County will have an increasing number of unmet infrastructure needs due to the Board’s Strategic Objectives of completing of the County’s master plans and accelerating certain transportation and urban infrastructure projects by the end of FY2009-2010.
As another alternative, the County could provide a low-interest loan to the Town in order to fund the project while reducing the impact on the County’s capital program. The Town has indicated that such an arrangement is already available through the Virginia Municipal League (VML) and that the required debt service for the Town is unaffordable. Because the grants received to fund the Historic Streetscape project are on a reimbursable basis, the Town must already borrow in the interim to begin the project before any revenues from grants can be realized. The Town indicated to staff that because of these circumstances and the Town’s existing financial state, assuming an additional debt expense would not be a viable option as far as they are concerned.
If the Board does not wish to provide the full amount of requested funding, it could approve an amount of funding less than the requested $502,130.27. While this action will still affect the County’s future ability to meet its infrastructure needs, the impact will not be as great as providing the full requested by the Town. However, the Town presently has not indicated an amount less than the $502,130.27 that would ensure the completion of the Main Street project.
If the Board does not provide funding for the remainder of the project, the Town has indicated it will continue to pursue other revenue opportunities, primarily through any available grants. Due to amount needed, timing and availability of such grants, it may be multiple years before securing all the funding needed for the project, by which point the project’s cost will have continued to increase. The Town has already significantly reduced the scope of the Main St portion of the project by eliminating storm drains and tree wells from the planned improvements. Regardless of additional funding, the Valley Street portion of the project will be completed, however, without additional funding secured, the intended Main Street segment of the project will need to be pursued at a later time.
The fiscal impact will be a one-time capital expenditure for the County; the exact fiscal impact will depend on what amount of financial support, if any, the Board approves. Any funding approved has the potential to impact or delay County CIP projects; the exact projects and impacts are dependent upon the amount approved and future project cost increases.
If the Board should choose to approve funding to address this request, staff would recommend that the funding come from the CIP reserve rather than reducing money currently designated for other capital projects. Staff will prepare the necessary appropriation for the Board’s approval at the next meeting if funding is approved.
Attachment A: Information provided to the Board on September 6, 2006
Return to regular agenda