Capital Improvement may be ill-prioritized, councilman says

Herald file photoThis January 2019 photo shows the Clinton City Council discussing the the city's Fiscal Year 2020 budget, including the CIP list.

CLINTON -- A resolution to set a public hearing regarding the city of Clinton's proposed Capital Improvement Program list failed to pass at a Thursday Clinton City Council meeting.

With adverse weather earlier in the morning and other obligations, the meeting was held with only four council members in attendance. In the case of setting a date for the public hearing, four "yes" votes would have been needed, with no members voting "no."

That wasn't the case Thursday, however, as council members Bill Schemers, Lynn McGraw, and Julie Allessee voted in favor of the hearing. Councilman Cody Seeley was the lone "no" vote, ultimately rejecting the resolution which would have set the public hearing for Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Seeley said Thursday that he took issue with how the CIP list was prioritized, feeling that inadequate discussion was potentially creating an ill-prioritized list.

With the city's official Fiscal Year 2020 budget due by March 15, time is running out for the list's approval. Seeley said Thursday his intentions aren't to disrupt the process, but he feels more due diligence should be cast on the list's items.

"I'm just looking for a compromise," Seeley said at Thursday's meeting.

Major projects near the top of the list include reconstruction of a large chunk of Manufacturing Drive and Bluff Boulevard, for which the city is looking for federal funding, the city's official pavement management program, and reconstruction of North Third Street at Main Avenue.

Bridge replacement and reconstruction initiatives also highlight the top of the list.

Deeper discussion regarding the BUILD Grant which would fund the Manufacturing Drive and Bluff Boulevard project, along with conversations about a riverfront roadway extension project are scheduled for a Committee of the Whole meeting directly following the Feb. 12 regular council meeting. With those items on the CIP list, Seeley ultimately felt that those discussions should occur before the public hearing.

That was unable to happen, according to City Administrator Matt Brooke and Mayor Mark Vulich.

"I'm just requesting that we review what we need to review before we vote on them," Seeley said. "I want to have (the discussion regarding the projects) before I make a final decision on (the CIP list vote)...that's what I would like, and that would make me comfortable with setting the public hearing."

The public hearing could now potentially be scheduled for the Feb. 26 regular council meeting, according to Brooke.