The City of Carlsbad's proposed Capital Improvement Program for the fiscal year that begins July 1 includes $73.7 million in new spending to enhance the city’s beachfront, improve parks, ease traffic flow and expand water recycling.
The Capital Improvement Program is a long-range planning document to ensure that city meets, and at times exceeds, standards set by the voter-approved Growth Management Plan. The program is updated each year, and specific projects are included in the city’s annual spending plan. The Capital Improvement Program for the next 15 years outlines approximately 240 projects at an estimated cost of $455 million. Next year’s proposed spending plan includes $73.7 million for these projects.
“The Capital Improvement Program budget is for a lot of the physical things people see in our city, like parks, libraries and other buildings, streets and pipes,” said Helga Stover, budget manager for the City of Carlsbad. “These are usually long term projects that can span more than one budget year.”
The proposed Capital Improvement Program was presented to the City Council on Tuesday, May 19. The proposed Operating Budget, which includes expenses for day-to-day city services such as police, fire, libraries and parks, will be presented on June 9. Both the Capital Improvement Program budget and Operating Budget are scheduled to be presented to the City Council on June 23 for adoption.
To watch a video explaining the city budget, click here.
Highlights of the 2015-16 Capital Improvement Program include:
Beach Area Improvements
The city plans a number of projects that will make the beach along Carlsbad Boulevard more accessible and attractive, including:
Widening the narrow sidewalk and installing safety railings on the west side of the bridge that crosses the warm water channel along Carlsbad Boulevard, south of Tamarack Avenue, to improve pedestrian access. These improvements will cost about $1.9 million.
Making improvements on Carlsbad Boulevard between Cannon Road and Manzano Drive to improve travel for automobiles, bicycles and pedestrians, at an estimated cost of $6 million.
Installing sidewalks and safety railings on the bridge along Carlsbad Boulevard that crosses the railroad tracks south of State Street, at an estimated cost of $1.3 million.
Continued improvements and maintenance at Carlsbad State Beach and Frazee Beach, between Tamarack and Pine avenues, where the city invested $900,000 in new restrooms, picnic grounds and bluff landscaping in 2014-15.
City staff is also proposing to improve beach access in five locations, between Carlsbad Village Drive and Rue de Chateaux, budgeting $2.5 million in the 2015-16 Capital Improvement Program.
City parks are earmarked to receive $19.9 million in new spending in the proposed 2015-16 Capital Improvement Program. Park projects include:
Outdoor Adventure Park — The budget includes $122,000 to study the feasibility of an outdoor adventure park that would include such activities as a bike skills course, rope skills, zip lines and rock climbing.
Pine Avenue Park Community Park — Improvements will include a multipurpose community center and gymnasium, a community garden with rentable plots and a botanical-ornamental garden. This final phase of the park is estimated at $10.4 million.
Aviara Community Park — Additional park amenities include a large outdoor gathering area with a small amphitheater, group picnic areas, a perimeter walking path, and a warming kitchen complete with appliances to support outside catering and food and beverage services for small events. The total cost is $3.1 million.
Poinsettia Community Park — Park improvements include a fenced dog park for both large and small dogs, updated tot lots and a multisport arena with a picnic area and artificial turf field, at a total cost of $3.9 million.
Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park — Located in the southeastern Carlsbad, this park will see restoration of the horse stables and other improvements at a total cost of $980,000.
Water and Wastewater Projects
Carlsbad Water Recycling Facility — The 2014-15 Capital Improvement Program includes $10.9 million to expand the Carlsbad Water Recycling Facility, which will help alleviate water shortages due to the ongoing drought. The expansion will increase the recycled water supply from 4 million gallons a day to 7 million gallons a day and will include additional pipelines. The city is proposing spending a total $30 million on this project.
Sewer Projects — The 2015-16 Capital Improvement Program includes $7.7 million in new spending to maintain and upgrade wastewater lines and equipment. The cities of Carlsbad and Vista are undertaking replacement of the Vista/Carlsbad Interceptor and Agua Hedionda Lift Station to modernize pipes and pumps. This line conveys wastewater from neighborhoods in Vista and northwestern Carlsbad to the Encina Water Pollution Control Facility on Avenida Encinas. The total project is estimated at $64.3 million; Carlsbad’s share is $25 million.
Street and Road Projects
The city will continue to focus on projects that improve traffic flow and make it easier to get around on a bike or by foot. The Capital Improvement Program includes $11.2 million in new spending in 2015-16.
El Camino Real Widening — There are a number of projects that will improve traffic flow on El Camino Real and make the roadway safer for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists. These include widening El Camino Real between Arenal Road and La Costa Avenue, between Tamarack and Chestnut avenues and in other locations. Projects also include the addition of bicycle lanes and improvements to medians. The city also plans to widen the bridge over Agua Hedionda Creek just south of the Cannon Road intersection. This project will include addition of a new northbound lane, plus a dedicated right-hand turn lane. The Capital Improvement Program includes $850,000 for medians in 2015-16; the total project cost is about $20 million.
Street Resurfacing — The city has a pavement management program that assures its local streets are maintained on a regular cycle to ensure a good riding surface and to extend the life of the streets. The city addresses problem areas by sealing road surfaces or applying a new layer of pavement, depending on roadways’ needs. The proposed Capital Improvement Program includes $3 million in 2015-16 for this program.
Even though money is appropriated each year through the Capital Improvement Program budget process, large projects still must be authorized by the City Council before proceeding.
About 21 percent of the city’s Capital Improvement Program budget comes from developer fees. Other funding comes from special financing districts, infrastructure replacement funds set aside by the city, user fees, the state gas tax, Transnet, grants and other agencies.
June 9, 6 p.m.: Preliminary Operating Budget presented to the City Council, 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive.
June 11, 6 p.m.: Citizens budget workshop on the proposed 2015-16 budget, at City of Carlsbad Faraday Center, 1635 Faraday Ave.
June 23, 6 p.m.: Public hearing and adoption of the Operating and Capital Budget., 1200 Carlsbad Village Drive.