Project list gets final tally for rest of fiscal year
♦ County seeks to use $7.8 million in Capital Improvement spending
Future plans are now set on paper for what projects and purchases Polk County’s administration seek to complete for the rest of the fiscal year.
When the final tally is completed, the county will seek to spend $7,816,375 combined in everything from infrastructure improvements to upgrading firearms for local law enforcement.
While the SPLOST contains the funds themselves, the county’s Capital Improvement Plan is more of a general guideline for how the county seeks to spend from the pair of funds.
“The SPLOST is a funding mechanism,” County Manager Matt Denton said. “The CIP is a needs assessment for each department.”
The FY19 CIP sees $802,000 and $6,414,375 gathered from the 2008 and 2014 SPLOST respectively. The remaining $600,000 in spending on the list from the landfill fund has been completely assigned to the forthcoming airport runway extension project, though the runway is slated to receive an additional $900,000 from the 2014 SPLOST fund to cover the rest of the cost.
The remaining funds have been pledged to projects both old and new. While county employees will be delighted with the new computers and digital equipment on the list for a number of departments, some of the biggest benefits to local residents will come in the form of much needed infrastructure repairs.
That includes $1 million being planned for use to repair several culverts within the county, with additional details to come on specific locations and costs.
FY 2019’s list also includes $62,000 for a new senior citizen bus, $40,000 worth of new or repaired fire hydrants, and a combined $740,000 interior and exterior Court House #2 renovations, and much more.
Employees at work in on county business using new computers as part of the CIP will be much safer thanks to the approved $25,000 firewall upgrade, the $20,000 worth of optics and network switches, and the $8,000 being spent on emergency backup and virtualization.
While the county has already been improving their network infrastructure, the CIP should see the final touches needed.
“If one of those (the core switches) fails, it’s like having a cardiac arrest,” County IT Director David Smith said of the switches at a previous technology committee meeting. “My proposal is to get rid of these blue ones, buy new switches, and connect everyone direct route to us. Number two is our firewall.”
“The firewall is our heart,” Smith added. “That lets our internet in and out and keeps the bad guys out.”
Animal lives will also see improvement thanks to the $125,000 being pledged to a cat room addition at the county’s animal control building.
The influx of stray and unwanted felines has resulted in the pound reaching max capacity, and with strict laws dictating how many animals can be kept in certain square footage, animal control has been forced to euthanize and reject animals.
The cat room addition will allow for more strays to safely be taken in.
Law enforcement, EMS, and the fire department should be in top shape thanks to the various patrol vehicles, service weapons, and other equipment pledged.
The CIP also lists $50,000 towards a mobile command post that would give first responders the ability to have in to high-risk situations more effectively with surveillance, wireless communication, wireless networking, and more.
The vehicles can also give police the ability to analyze evidence immediately, and staying safe and dry is a solid perk for law enforcement.
Additional purchases are planned for the Public Works department as well, with new vehicles on the list as well as equipment to be used in repairs of county cars and trucks already in use.