"Cornman: City must research major upgrades" by: Jessica Shepard

   City Councilman Bill Cornman discussed launching an effort to establish cost estimates for several major city improvements during a regularly scheduled city council meeting Sept. 26.
   “The idea here is to use the $225,000 in the budget to do scope engineering and conceptual engineering work,” he explained.
   “We need to look at a budget for several capital improvements like a new police and volunteer fire department facility, Nile Valley road, street and drainage improvements. Then, we can take those numbers to the polls and have citizens vote on them if we want to pursue a bond initiative.”
   Cornman added that council made effort roughly three years ago for Nile Valley that put the cost between $3-4 million for repairing the road.
   “We need a better cost estimate on all of these projects so we can bundle them together based on our needs and start getting some work done,” said Cornman.
   “We also need to know the numbers for a bond issue. What could we tolerate with a tax hike to cover the projects we’re looking at. Right now, a new police department and fire station facility is in the ballpark of about $15 million”
   “I’d love to include utilities work and drainage in these estimates,” said Councilman Brent Marceaux.
   “We’re way out of whack for water leaks and it needs to be where we can manage things more efficiently.”

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