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    Ventura City Council adds new projects to 2020-2026 Capital Improvement Plan

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    By Kevin Harris

    The Ventura City Council approved resolutions adding several new projects to the previously-passed Capital Improvement Plan, covering fiscal years 2020 through 2026, during its second year review and update. The new projects were adopted during the “Public Hearing” portion of Monday night’s city council meeting. 

    The public hearing was presented by Public Works Director, Philip Nelson, and due to covid-19 protocols, Mr. Nelson, City Council Members and staff all attended the meeting via live video feed. 

    Ventura Capital Improvement Program – City Council Meeting

    Earlier this year, city staff communicated their proposals for updates to the CIP to the city council, and determined potential conflicts of interest between those proposals and city council members. Those conflicts of interest generally involve projects that exist in, or benefit a council member’s specific district. The adoption of new projects being done now is per city charter – which says adoption of new programs into the CIP must be completed by April 1. 

    Once the new projects are approved, the city council then meets in June to work on approving the funding for them for fiscal years 2021-2022, and again in July to begin executing the approved program. 

    New Projects Being Proposed

    Seven new projects were being proposed for the CIP:

    -Improvements to the police/fire headquarters’ air handler:

    Cost: $315,000

    Start: FY 2021

    -Police/fire headquarters’ chiller replacement:

    Cost: $303,650

    Start: FY 2021

    -City Hall East boiler replacement:

    Cost: $329,600

    Start: FY 2022

    -City Hall emergency generator:

    Cost: $1,000,000 (potential grant)

    Start: FY 2022

    -Marina Park playground replacement:

    Cost: $636,304

    Start: FY 2021

    -Cabrillo Village multi-use path:

    Cost: $1,000,000

    Start: FY2022

    -Upgrade of county generation system:

    Cost: $5,000,000

    Start: FY 2022

    One public speaker showed up, (live audio feed) who made a passioned plea to have city-wide broadband service added to the CIP. George Amandola pointed out that a “placeholder” had been approved for the current CIP by the city council, but that public broadband was never made a reality. He said the broadband would cost just $10 million, out of a $911 million budget.

    “It would seem to me that with prudent financial management, and some good common sense, we could peel out one percent of the capital improvement budget and apply it to broadband,” he told the council. 

    City Council members voted to adopt the resolution to approve of the Second Year’s 2020 – 2026 CIP, voting unanimously, with specific council members abstaining, related to the projects that presented potential conflicts of interest. 

    The next Ventura City Council Meeting is Monday, April 12, 2021. You can see the agenda for the meetings, and watch the meeting this article was based on, at the following URL: https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/718/Videos

     

    Kevin Harris

    Kevin Harris is a reporter, editor and journalist, previous President of Cal State Northridge’s Society of Professional Journalists, and having worked for the LA Times and Newhall Signal. He is now also an author and videographer, and lives with his two children in Thousand Oaks. 


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