New Castle to take on capital projects with additional reserve funds in 2020 | PostIndependent.com
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New Castle to take on capital projects with additional reserve funds in 2020

A man walks around in downtown New Castle on a chilly afternoon last week following an early morning snowstorm.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

The town of New Castle hopes to check a few capital projects off its to-do list after ending 2019 with approximately $247,000 in additional unassigned reserve funds.

That dollar amount was largely generated by the sale of two town-owned properties last year near New Castle’s downtown.

“We did sell two condos that the town owned that had been intended for employee housing but were not being used as such,” Town Councilman Graham Riddile said.

According to Riddile, over the years, very few of the town’s workers expressed an interest in living in either of the dwellings, thus leading to their eventual sale.

Additionally, the New Castle Town Council mandates $850,000 as the minimum acceptable amount in emergency reserve funds the town must maintain at all times.

“The $247,000 that we’re talking about is above and beyond the $850,000,” Mayor Art Riddile said.

Subsequently, a capital projects committee identified projects that were previously put on hold due to budget constraints.

Those projects were then divided into three tiers based on how “urgent and critical” they were.

Tier-one capital projects — deemed the most urgent and critical — included asphalt overlay on Castle Valley Boulevard, Seventh Street, Buckthorn Drive and Lariat Loop.

“We’ve heard and read complaints about some of our neighboring municipalities having shortfalls on their street programs.” Art Riddile said. “We don’t want to get there.”

Other tier-one capital projects called for the replacement of two New Castle Police vehicles as well as the construction of a sludge bakery at the wastewater plant.

Tier-two capital projects envisioned allocating approximately $28,000 for a street sweeper replacement and remodeling Town Hall.

Considered “non-urgent and non-critical,” the town’s tier-three capital projects largely focused on updates to local parks and trails.

According to Art Riddile, the town hopes to complete a majority of the tier-one projects in 2020.

Additionally, the amount of money being allocated toward various capital projects could go up significantly should the town be awarded grant funding.

“I’m really excited by the fact that we are going to be repaving a good chunk of our roads and getting them back to a good, acceptable condition,” Councilman Graham Riddile said.

mabennett@postindependent.com


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