Gloucester CIP committee takes look at county’s long-term needs

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Feb 06, 2013 - 12:10 PM

Gloucester taxpayers may see a penny increase in their real estate tax rates in 2014 or 2015 in order to fund a number of pressing long-term needs, according to a recent report from the county’s Capital Improvement Projects committee.

The committee, formed at the direction of county administrator Brenda Garton, was tasked to develop a multi-year capital improvement plan, and made a number of recommendations to the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors last month.

"The CIP is a tool that can help us ensure that decisions on capital projects and funding are made wisely and are well planned," said CIP committee chair Tom Sawyer.

Gloucester County departments submitted over $76.9 million in capital projects to be considered by the county’s Capital Improvement Projects committee, according to Sawyer. The amount includes $54.4 million in projects that would be paid for through the general fund and $22.5 million for the utility fund.

Cognizant of the major upcoming capital projects such as the new Page Middle School and renovations to the Thomas Calhoun Walker Educational Center, the CIP committee did not assign funding from the $3.1 million capital fund committed for future capital projects. The committee also said it was making a conservative recommendation for assignment of the excess fund balance in the general fund to assist the board of supervisors as they proceed with the many unknowns related to those projects.