By Rebekah Morris for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
The Town of Gilbert is growing fast and one place that’s evident is the five-year Capital Improvement Plan. The 2018-2022 planning document shows a healthy $957.5M five-year total, with $483.3M budgeted in FY17-18. This represents an increase of 11.69 percent over last year’s program.
Budget Director Kelly Pfost stated in an interview that Gilbert is, “A growing community, and the CIP reflects the Town’s investment to keep up with the needs of that growth.” The Town just last month sold bonds that were authorized by voters in 2007, to the tune of $70M. That bond sale provides a new source of funds for some of the plan’s capital projects.
Newly Added Projects – Parking Garage & Public Safety Training Facility
Some of the newly added projects include a new parking garage in the Heritage District, and a new Public Safety Training Facility. The $18.5M parking structure will be partly funded by a land sale in the Heritage District, with the remainder of funding coming from the General Fund. The design will be completed by BWS Architects. According to Gilbert’s Jack Gierak, the Town will also be selecting a Project Manager, and using the Construction Manager at Risk delivery method for the GC. Town Council approved staff to proceed with the procurement at the April meeting.
The other major project newly added with this year’s CIP is a Public Safety Training Facility. This approximately $58M project has $3.8M budgeted in this upcoming fiscal year for design services with the bulk of the construction funding being allocated in FY20. The Town’s goal of selecting an Architect this year is to finalize design and scope to get a more accurate estimate of the total construction cost.
The funding for construction is not yet secured. It will most likely come from a future bond election the Town is planning for the ballot in 2018. Selecting an Architect in FY17 will ensure the Town only asks voters for the funds needed to complete the project.
Ongoing Infrastructure Investment – Roads & Sewers & Parks – Oh My!
Typically, the majority of any given municipality’s capital funds goes toward the items most take for granted: water, wastewater, roads and related infrastructure. The Town has significant projects going on in this area as well: from the Santan Vista Water Treatment Plant to the $50M Greenfield Water Reclamation Plant which is being constructed with the City of Mesa.
Major street projects include a $62M bridge and roadway project on Ocotillo Road – from Greenfield to Higley – planned for FY20, a $17.75M roadway improvement project on Ocotillo Road – from Val Vista to Greenfield, a $22M roadway improvement project on Germann Road – from Gilbert to Val Vista in correlation with the Lindsay/L202 interchange improvements. Intersections will be improved hopping around Elliot and Guadalupe.
Major parks projects are in the plan as well. Gilbert Regional Park will see significant spending for the next three years, and again in future phased expansions. The total for this park will eventually top $80M. Rittenhouse Regional Park will also see about $35M invested into the development in the next two years, and another $38M in years 6-10. Last, Elliot District park improvements is slated to receive over $11M in capital investment in the coming fiscal year.
Future Bond Issues
Gilbert anticipates a General Obligation bond to be on the ballot in 2018. If approved, that bond would fund the public safety training facility. The Town also will consider a parks bond question around 2020 or later.