Capital budget includes funding for Barren Creek

There were few comments at a public meeting on Wicomico County’s proposed Capital Improvement Plan, only concern about having Barren Creek Road rebuilt.

The road washed out during a summer storm and the CIP includes $500,000 to restore it.

“We are still waiting for the cooperation with the landowner to be able to move forward on it,” County Executive Bob Culver told the Salisbury Independent.

The five-year plan, covering fiscal years 2018 to 2022, was introduced at the Dec. 1 meeting, and an overview given. Among requests are:

  • Wicomico County Board of Education, $13.5 million.
  • Airport runway extension, $ 6 million.
  • Public works landfill cell, $5 million
  • Airport public water service, $2.4 million
  • Parks and recreation projects, $ 2.2 million.
  • Westside collector Phase 3, $2 million.
  • Wicomico County Detention Center roof replacement, $1.3 million.
  • Detention Center shower replacement, $425,000.
  • EMS radio project completion, $750,000.
  • Public Safety Building, $600,000.

Wicomico County Council President John Cannon said only a brief overview of the CIP was given at the public meeting. “There really were not a lot of specifics. Barren Creek was a new addition. The CIP is a five-year plan, so some stuff gets dropped. This was only a preliminary look at it for the public, a very general overview,” Cannon said.

There will be more detail and additional opportunity for public comment as county officials work on the budget for the next fiscal year.

The CIP, Culver explained, is “intended for projects that are significant in scope, takes several years to plan and complete and requires large amounts of funding from one or more sources.”

Sources include current revenue, prior fund balances, bonds, grants and non-appropriated funds, which come from fees for services or taxes.

County Administrator Wayne Strausburg, in a letter of explanation to the County Council last December, called the CIP “an important tool that assists Wicomico County in its long-range financial and public works plans.”

“Each year, the program is reviewed and priorities are reevaluated. Often new projects that have become matters of higher priority are added.

“The first year of the program will be considered as the Capital Improvement Budget. It is this portion which receives the closest scrutiny and for which funding decisions are made,” Strausburg wrote.

Remaining years, he wrote “serve as a guide and an indicator of what future capital requirements are likely to be, their cost and probable sources of funding.”

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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