City Council discusses Capital Investment Program

Ashley Seaton

Approximately $250 million could be invested in improvements around the city of Ames.

Ames City Council convened on Tuesday to discuss the current Capital Improvements Plan to be implemented from 2012 to 2017.

The largest investments include a $67 million water treatment plant project and a $20 million library expansion.

“The water treatment plant project, the largest improvement being made, is financed through a special loan through the state.” said Victoria Szopinski, 4th Ward City Council Representative. “It is because of our really good credit rate we were eligible for this loan. The other large improvement is going to be the new library, which is hopefully going to have a fall ‘15 or spring ‘16 opening.”

Other minor improvements looking at being made may include “new parks and bike paths, updating the community pool, improving the appearance of the median on Lincoln Way and also putting new systems in place so we can deal with any flood related issues, which have been a problem in the past,” said Tor Finseth, Government of the Student Body liason to the City Council.

CyRide will also be undergoing improvements and renovations, starting with replacing five old buses with two new articulated buses. New rates for CyRide will be determined later in the year.

“The big thing for students to know is that nothing is ever final in the city,” Finseth said. “The CIP is a responsible plan of taxpayer dollars with the convenience of allowing time for citizens to respond. If there is something that community would rather have, that idea takes precedence.”

The current CIP is still being reformed to make sure that all improvements needed are taken care of in the next five years. The current CIP is available for public viewing on the City of Ames website. Szopinski and Finseth both described Tuesday’s meeting as a “workshop” stage in the plan’s drafting. It is the hope of the City Council that that citizens and students will give input and suggestions to make the most effective plan possible.

“If you’re a resident of the city, it’s good to know what new things to expect and participate if you have ideas or things to contribute that may be overlooked,” Szopinski said.