Budget readied for new projects

CARLSBAD — As Carlsbad rolls out its proposed Capital Improvement Program budget, the city is also preparing to begin projects as early as midsummer.
With the city’s new fiscal year starting July 1, there are a multitude of projects, constituting a $65.3 million infrastructure budget, ready to start. According to city officials, these undertakings are meant to improve city traffic flow and support the fundamental infrastructure of sewer, water, drainage and roads.
“Keeping up with maintenance of basic infrastructure is critical to ensuring our residents enjoy an excellent quality of life in Carlsbad,” said Kristina Ray, city spokesperson. “A well-maintained city is also important to attract and retain quality businesses and foster a strong economy.”
The city is getting its capital improvement budget funding in a variety of ways. For example, developer fees makes up nearly 22 percent of it. Other funding, Ray said, comes from special financing districts, infrastructure replacement funds set aside by the city, the state gas tax, Transnet, grants and redevelopment money.
What’s being called important for public safety, traffic and road projects has roughly $13 million put aside.
“The city is investing in technology to synchronize traffic signals, which will help improve traffic flow,” she said. “We are also keeping up with regular road maintenance, like filling potholes and resurfacing streets on a regular basis.”
In the older areas of Carlsbad such as La Costa and downtown, the city intends to replace corrugated metal pipes which have undergone wear and tear for 20 years and longer. The newer pipes, with a different material composition, will offer more resiliencies.
“Keeping drainage pipes well maintained is important to prevent flooding,” Ray said.
A wastewater project is also in the $13 million budget range. The proposed funded projects, Ray said, would include pump station upgrades, replacements and removals; new pipelines and the rehabilitation and/or protection of existing pipelines.
“A reliable water supply is critical to our city’s economy and quality of life,” she said. “Due to ongoing water demands, the city of Carlsbad is continuing to expand its recycled water system — recycled water is a locally controlled water source that can be used for irrigation and other non-drinking purposes which leaves more of the potable water for regular household use.”
In the months ahead, new construction for fire station No. 3 will take place. The station, currently on Chestnut Avenue and Catalina Drive, will move closer to College Boulevard. Construction is expected to last up to 14 months. Ray said the reason behind the relocation was to make certain the city met its “response time goals.”
A new Maintenance and Operations Center is listed on the Capital Improvement Program, too. The goal is to consolidate the four city departments of Transportation, Parks, Utilities and Property and Environmental Management to one location. The proposed site would be adjacent to the Public Safety and Service Center on Orion Way.
“The city of Carlsbad has made it a priority to invest in infrastructure and keep the city well-maintained, even during the recent economic downturn,” Ray said. “Projects in the Capital Improvement Program are prioritized by need, with those contributing to the health and safety of residents receiving the highest priority. Other criteria include legal mandates and projects needed to comply with the city’s Growth Management Plan.”

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