Improvement plan offers focus for future leaders

The City Council accepted it first ever Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) at a special meeting held on October 4, 2018. A CIP is a planning document that helps to guide local communities undertaking capital investments. These investments range from major equipment purchases, such as a snowplow, to the construction of a new building. A CIP is authorized and required under the Michigan Planning and Enabling Act.

“This document helps us plan for our future,” said City Manager Nate Heffron. “As new council members are elected, we can lose touch on what is really needed. We also haven’t looked to the community for their input on these matters, and now we will.”

The CIP is a flexible, living document intended to be updated during summer of each year ahead of the budget process. It incorporates improvements and details on costs and funding as that information becomes available. As the community adapts to changing circumstances and new policy direction, the CIP should adapt along with it.

“Saving for future projects and prioritizing projects is extremely important,” he said. “We must reinvest in our infrastructure in an intelligent way.”

The three major areas that this CIP will focus on include economic development, following through on existing plans, and infrastructure investment.

“For almost every capital improvement, job growth, retention, and attraction should be on our minds to improve our economy,” Heffron said.

Heffron also said there have been city plans throughout the years that have gone nowhere.

“This is due to lack of follow-through and funding, and competing agendas,” he said. “A CIP will provide focus for everyone now and the future.”

The CIP noted that repairs to aging infrastructure such as streets and sidewalks are a major priority of residents.

“We know for a while that some of our streets are bad,” he said. “My intentions are to use the street millage, grants and other creative ways to maintain and repave our streets. We must be smart in doing this, coupling projects.”

In addition to helping direct the city’s future capital investments, another hurdle will be out of the way as it pertains to becoming a Redevelopment Ready Community (RRC). According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC),  the RRC program “measures and then certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability and efficiency into their daily development practices. The RRC certification is a formal recognition that your community has a vision for the future—and the fundamental practices in place to get there.” According to Heffron, becoming RRC certified, Negaunee will be eligible for technical assistance through MEDC and possible receive more priority on grants.

 

Upcoming Projects

Public Works Department

Street Projects on Baldwin, Brown, Healy, Peck, Rail and Kanter+*

Brown Avenue Waste Water+*

Peck Street Water Project+

Refurbish Vactor truck

DWP dump truck box

Two new plow trucks

New bucket truck (electric dept.)

 

Fire & Police Departments

Fire suppression SCBAs*

Fire station renovation/repair

Replace FD radios*

New police squad car*

 

Parks & Recreation Department

Jackson Park Pavilion*

Zamboni Purchase

LaCombe Field irrigation system

 

+indicates where projects are

coupled together to save money

*indicates where grants have

been awarded or are being sought