Poughkeepsie begins drafting five-year wish list for capital projects

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie needs a long list of capital improvement projects, mostly involving infrastructure, and some equipment replacement.  It won’t come cheap. 
Just the first year of the 2017-2021 Capital Plan, if all is done, could cost $41 million.  Acting Finance Commissioner William Brady told the Common Council this week that the city’s responsibility would be $27 million, which could either be put in the budget, or bonded, or both. 
Mayor Robert Rolison said all at this point is very tentative.
“It is just a plan,” Rolison said. “All those numbers are just numbers that were put together in priority order by the Capital Plan Committee. That any of those expenditures for those infrastructure and capital cost have to come back to the council for approval.”
That would begin to happen next spring.
Acting City Administrator Ronald Knapp detailed several of the top priorities.
Among them, $50,000 for an electrical panel repair in a DPW building.
“Right now, we can’t access the building where the electrical components for DPW are stored because the building is unsafe,” Knapp said, noting that Central Hudson refuses to go into the building. 
One of the more critical projects is the deteriorating water main along Market Street.
“It’s very vulnerable,” said Assistant Civil Engineer Joe Chinier. 
“We need to do this work to increase the reliability of the system.  That main goes down, it feeds a good portion of the south side.”
The long list doesn’t stop there.  Two fire trucks need replacing or very costly repairs.   The city’s two swimming pools also need costly repairs.  Delaying would only further escalate the cost.   Many of the city’s computers need upgraded software.  Some are still running Windows XP, no longer supported by Microsoft. 
A public hearing on the capital plan is scheduled for 6 p.m., prior to the regular council meeting next Monday night, August 29.
Despite approving the hearing, some council members said they would need much more information and detail before being able to vote on it. 
View the full proposed capital plan at: 2017-2021 Poughkeepsie Capital Plan