City’s capital spending plan includes new police cruisers

Mayor Jake Day’s Capital Improvement Plan outlines how Salisbury will fund infrastructure upgrades, police and fire vehicles and building improvements over a five-year period from fiscal 2020 to 2024.

The $43 million plan won City Council approval at the Feb. 24 meeting. The money will come from a combination of general fund revenues, bond debt and leases.

Salisbury will now kick in a total of $223,500 over the next two years to help cover costs in the Government Office Building, now that the city is part owner, Day said during a Feb. 18 work session.

The city will pay $73,500 in fiscal 2020 and $150,000 in fiscal 2021 toward the cost of roof and heat pump replacements as well as restroom improvements.

City Council President Jack Heath said he had hoped to see funding for security improvements in the building.

“With what’s going on in this country, I’m concerned,” he said.

Day said city officials can address their security concerns with the county later. All expenditures must be approved by both the mayor and county executive.

The CIP includes $545,000 toward land acquisition for a new fire station on the north end of town where there has been an increase in residential population and commercial development.

Chief John Tull said there are several suitable properties available, but they all have steep price tags. As a result, the search is expanding off the main Route 13 corridor. The new facility would require approximately 2.5 acres.

The plan includes $6.8 million overall for the Fire Department to pay for new apparatus, including a tanker, engine, aerial ladder, EMS units and dive unit.

For the Police Department, the plan includes $3.4 million, including $638,000 per year, or a total of $3.2 million for new police department vehicles – 10 SUV patrol vehicles and three smaller sedans.

The department also will receive funding for building repairs and parking lot improvements.

The city’s Department of Infrastructure and Development is budgeted for $10.5 million that includes $5.9 million for citywide street reconstruction projects, $134,000 for Phase 2b of the Skatepark, $300,000 for Phase 2 of the Riverwalk Amphitheater and other projects.

The Salisbury Zoo is budgeted to get $1.28 million over the five-year period to pay for improvements to exhibits, buildings and mechanicals.

The largest zoo expenditure is $300,000 over the next two years for two new special events pavilions along the Wicomico River covering 2,000 square feet with room for up to 125 guests. The structures would be linked by dedicated walkways, landscape and night lighting, and existing washrooms would need to be renovated.

The capital plan also includes $225,000 for Poplar Hill Mansion, $37,500 for Housing & Community Development, $173,700 for Information Services, $6.1 million for Field Operations, $3.9 million for Water Works.

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