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Council nearing adoption of CIP

The City of Three Forks is moving closer to adopting a new Capital Improvements Plan (CIP).

At last week’s special City Council Meeting, the governing body provided input and comments on the latest draft of the CIP, a prioritized list of infrastructure projects with a schedule for the projects and funding sources.

Near the conclusion of the meeting, the Council moved forward with placing a Resolution of Intent to pass the CIP at its July 9 meeting and a Resolution to Adopt the CIP the following month.

The draft states the CIP “is a blueprint for identifying the City’s capital needs, priorities, estimated costs, and viable funding options. The objective of the CIP is to create a logical, transparent, data-driven strategy for investing in the City’s infrastructure needs. The Plan strives to reflect the priorities of City residents and to exemplify sound financial practices.”

Jerry Grebenc with Great West Engineering told the Council that once adopted, the CIP is a living document and should hopefully be updated every six to twelve months.

Councilmember Gene Townsend told the governing body he is happy they are doing the project, and a lot of times when you do a document like this, it gets done and put on a shelf, and when they are doing the budget, they need to say, “Is it in the Capital Improvements Plan?”

During the June 25 meeting discussion, Councilmember Garret Buchanan said the City’s highest priority projects are in water and wastewater. Councilmember Reagan Hooton said stormwater should also be added to the list of top priorities, especially if they want to pave the other part of town.

Councilmember Gene Townsend said he is hearing from everyone that the top priorities lie in water, sewer, and possibly stormwater. He added that the CIP is a tremendous list and something for the City to work off.

Townsend said you don’t have a town without sewer and water, but it should also be a top priority to keep that as best as they can for what they can afford.

When discussing water and wastewater, Townsend added if a development goes in south of the Talc Plant and is 800 units, that is going to be another Three Forks, but it isn’t going to fill up tomorrow or the next day.

“We certainly don’t want to leave that problem for someone else,” he said.

The Draft CIP includes a list of Water System Needs and Future Projects identified “as priorities in order to maintain, repair, improve, and plan for future needs of the drinking water system in Three Forks.” The list includes the estimated fiscal year and cost of the project.

The list includes Water System PER/Master Plan ($80,000 – 2027), Water Main Replacements ($3,043,000), Transmission Improvements ($1,375,000 - $2026), WTP Chemical Feed Pumps and Valves ($40,000 – 2027), WTP Media ($22,000 – 2028), and Well Pump and Motor Replacement ($15,000 – 2029).

The draft identified Water System projects as longer-term projects for the City to consider over the next five to ten years, including a Leak Detection Program and a Water Supply Study.

The list for Wastewater System Needs Identified as priorities are Wastewater System PER/Master Plan ($80,000 – 2024), Collection System Improvements ($2,226,000 – 2028), Upsize Collection System Trunk Main ($3,563,000 – 2029), Lift Station Upgrades ($2,490,000 – 2028), Solar Panel System at Wastewater Treatment Plant ($123,000 – 2025), Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion ($6,171,000 – 2028), City Owned RV Dump Station ($322,000 – 2026), and Wastewater Treatment Plant Sludge Removal and Disposal ($800,000 – 2028).

The list of Stormwater System Needs Identified as priorities is the Stormwater PER/Master Plan ($80,000 – 2026) and a Subdivision Regulations Update ($8,000 – 2026).

Jessica Salo with Great West Engineering told the Council that the Stormwater Plan would give the City a chance to get all its drainage basins delineated and come up with a list of options for dealing with stormwater. She added a plan would give the City a range of options and costs, and stormwater does not have to be a full-on piped underground system; it could also be things done on the surface where it goes to a localized area where it infiltrates into the ground.

According to the Draft, a significant goal and benefit of the CIP is to ultimately save the City’s financial resources.

“Planning for long-term improvements with identified funding strategies helps a community stay on top of needed replacements or repairs before potentially catastrophic events occur within the City’s infrastructure. Additionally, the City can implement guidance within the CIP to apply for grants and loans for improvements,” states the Draft CIP.