Monday, March 13, 2023

Parks and Recreation Projects Dominate Initial Cut At Oro Valley 2023-24 Capital Improvement Program

2023-24 Oro Valley Capital Budget-first cut- is almost $47 million
This Wednesday, the Oro Valley Town Council will study a $46.9 million capital budget for fiscal 2024. It is the largest capital budget (CIP) in Oro Valley history. Significant capital spending is being driven by the requirement to spend Parks Bond Funds and Government ARPA funds within the next few years. The result is that much of the spending is on parks and recreation and on water projects.

Parks projects are almost half of all spending
There are twenty-one proposed parks and recreation type projects that total $22.9 million. Two-thirds ($15.1m) of this spending is for continuing the buildout of Naranja Park. Even with this investment, future year capital investment plans call for continuing to add to and improve this facility with two additional fields, restrooms, and an asphalt roadway.  Other proposed parks projects for 2024 include doing the LaCanada Golf Course irrigation at a cost of $2million and adding a $1.7million elevator to the Community Center.

$12 million in proposed water related projects to add efficiency and operating flexibility
There are fifteen proposed water projects that focus on the operations and maintenance of the water utility. These are investments in the the storage and distribution of water. Generally, the cost of each project ranges from $100,000 to $200,000. These estimated total cost of these projects is $2.2 million. Generally, this cost stays the same for each of subsequent nine years. 

There is an added $10million in capital investment that appears to be for one-time projects such as the expansion of the booster station on La Canada ($3.7 million) and continued spending to bring water directly from Avra Valley to Oro Valley (NWRRDS). This will allow the town to reduce its dependence on Tucson Water for getting the town's CAP water allocation. We are guessing that the $5.4 million in ARPA funds are being used for the NWRRDS project.

Proposed spending to keep Oro Valley's roads the best in the county
Oro Valley's roads are the best in the County.. probably in the State. The proposed capital budget would spend $6.2 million on roads. A third of this is spending on the town's pavement preservation program. Also, there are several proposed pavement overlay projects, one road reconstruction and "annexation promised" road improvements at Westward Look.  There is also a budget item of $750,000 for "something" to be done at the very busy Rancho Vistoso and Woodburne Ave intersection  (perhaps a traffic light?).

Remaining capital improvement spending is primarily for public safety
There are two other areas of proposed capital spending. One area is public safety. There is proposed capital spend on an expansion of the town court office ($1.5 million) and on vehicle replacement ($1.9 million). The town court project is proposed to continue into 2025 for the same amount.  The vehicle replacement program also continues at about $2million annually for all of ten years included in the proposed CIP plan.
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