Centerville has an “aggressive budget” for 2023, and capital spending is a primary reason, city officials said.
About $28 million in capital projects are expected this year, according to Centerville records. Some of those are projects that are being re-budgeted this year due to either being delayed or not completed last year, officials said.
There’s also the possibility they may not all happen in 2023, officials said.
“We were working on prioritizing which ones we want to go if we have to make choices, but as of now the plan is to move forward,” Tyler Roark, Centerville’s finance director, told this news outlet. “Obviously, nobody knows what the future holds as far as the inflationary market and economic factors and things of that nature, but we’re optimistic that we have a plan in place and resources to make it happen.”
Budgeted spending for 2023 includes the Stubbs Park Improvement Project, which had been slated to launch this year at nearly $4 million. But when the city received a single bid of $6.8 million, the project was put on hold.
“We decided that that’s not right,” said Kate Bostdorff, the city’s spokeswoman. “We’re going to rebid it, and it happened again, a single bid, so we’re making some changes.”
When the Stubbs Park project was put forth last year, the plan was to transform thousands of feet of narrow gravel paths into 8-foot-wide asphalt trails, replace an aging playground and improve the amphitheater’s bandshell, seating area and plaza.
The city also is hoping to go out for bid on a $2.4 million patio and kitchen expansion for the Golf Club at Yankee Trace and $500,000 in driving range improvements there.
Another significant project that was in last year’s budget, but is now at a larger scope, is a potential $5 million improvement of facilities at Benham’s Grove, including Gerber House, plus potential construction of a new event center.
Significant funds also are slated for the Uptown Redevelopment project this year. That includes construction plans for Project 6‐Virginia Connection ($3 million), which will link all public parking lots in the city’s northwest quadrant. There’s also construction for the overflow parking lot on West Franklin ($250,000), and engineering for the Ridgeway Signal and Roadway.
Centerville also plans to spend $4 million for its annual paving and resurfacing program, which is about the same level it was in 2022, officials said.
In addition, the city will also take on ownership and operating costs of Cornerstone Park, located in the middle of the mixed-use Cornerstone of Centerville development.
“There’s been significant private investment up there including residential apartments, single-family homes and a 55-plus community up there, as well as the commercial build-out taking place up there as well,” said City Manager Wayne Davis. “We’ve got two more commercial sites being infilled. There’s going to be ... Outback Steakhouse, which will be right on Wilmington Pike and another commercial building going in there right next to Cooper’s Hawk.”
Another project the city will embark on this year is a computer-aided dispatch and record management system at Centerville Police Department. That project is likely to cost around $350,000.
“We operate a 911 call center over at our police department and we’ve been needing for quite some time to upgrade computer software for the dispatch services to bring us into the 2020s,” Davis said. “That’s been an ongoing project and ... I think we’re getting close to identifying who our vendor would be for that.”
Total general fund revenue is expected to increase $8.3 million (30.6%) to $35.4 million in 2023, from $27.1 million in 2022. Approximately $5 million of that $8.3 million is due to a potential debt issuance for capital improvements. And about $3 million is largely due to a budgeted increase in income tax, Roark said.
Income tax receipts are projected to remain a “significant revenue source” for Centerville, he said, as it generates approximately 85% of the city’s general fund revenues.
The city also will bring in more revenue via its fees for waste collection services that it provides for its residents and some businesses. City council in 2022 approved the first rate increase the city has implemented since 2006, switching rates from about $18 a month to $24 a month.
“Part of that is to make sure that we have a schedule for when we replace our rolling stock,” Davis said. “Those waste collection vehicles run about $350,000 per vehicle. They have a useful life of 8 to 12 years, and Centerville has had some rolling stock that clearly surpass the 8 to 12 years, almost. In some cases, (it was) double that, so it was time for us to make the investment.”