LOGO government

City officials have agreed to fund several new master planning studies for a total of $430,000.

By a 4-0 vote Tuesday, Dec. 3, Gainesville City Council members authorized agreements with Kimley-Horn and Associates LLC for new city master planning documents. Mayor Jim Goldsworthy and council members Tommy Moore and Keith Clegg were absent for the council’s regular meeting.

The resolution calls for a 2020 Street and Utility Maintenance Program plan for $122,000; a 2020 Wastewater Master Plan for $123,000; a 2020 Water Master Plan for $85,000; a 2020 Impact Fee Study for $35,000; and a 2020 Master Thoroughfare Plan and Sidewalk Plan for $65,000.

Most of the city’s current plans are “a decade or more old,” according to materials provided to city council members ahead of the vote.

The city is paying for the plans with $150,000 from its Water and Sewer Fund and $280,000 from the assigned projects fund, the material provided to council members shows.

“All these plans are tied together,” City Manager Barry Sullivan told council members. “Without doing one of them, you’d have to spend more on the others because you need data from each of them. So by grouping them we believe we’re saving money.”

“This will help us make efficient and effective decisions on infrastructure as we move forward,” he added.

An impact fee study will allow the city to start charging impact fees on new development “if council thinks that they would help promote development in the city,” material given to council members states. Sullivan told council members he’s heard from one developer who preferred paying impact fees rather than paying for new utility lines as needed.

The city paid $84,000 for its existing Street and Utility Maintenance Program completed in 2010, Sullivan said. Since then, the city has carried out $24.3 million of street and utility fixes, he said, including the Culberson Street project which Sullivan described as substantially complete.

All told, the projects fixed or upgraded 30,000 linear feet of roadway, or almost 5.7 miles. A total of 32,000 feet of sanitary sewer lines, 28,000 feet of water lines and 19,000 feet of drainage lines were also repaired, not counting the work done in conjunction with the Pecan Creek Flood Control project in 2010.

The city maintains 120 miles of streets, Sullivan said. About $2.7 million more of street work is underway this year. Most of that is “going to be paid for cash out of our assigned fund,” he said.

Normally, the city maps out five years of anticipated road work in a Capital Improvement Plan based on information in the Street and Utility Maintenance Program. The city held off planning beyond the next year, Sullivan said, so those decisions could be based on the new SUMP the city is having done.

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