While the operating budget takes care of the day-to-day life of the village, the capital budget addresses the need to maintain, upgrade or build new infrastructure around Scarsdale.
Though the general process is the same year to year, the projects that are financed vary, though some projects take several years to complete, so a certain amount of money is allotted for improvements each year.
At a capital budget information meeting March 6, Deputy Village Manager Rob Cole reviewed the village’s proposed capital improvement projects.
“We have to be cognizant of what can be accomplished; we have to manage the project and complete the work,” Cole said.
One such project that’s constantly on the village’s radar is the condition of local roads and a plan for repaving.
Cole said the village tries to pave between three and five miles each year and sets aside the money to do just that.
Residents have sent letters to the village and have spoken out about the state of the roads, but Cole said it’s important to keep the balance of money, work and impact in mind.
It’s not just about setting the money aside to pave the streets. It’s about making sure they have the manpower to get the work done and doing a project with as little adverse impact to the community as possible.
Roads are an aspect of the village noticed by anyone coming through Scarsdale.
But what about what’s beneath the surface?
The village is also considering its sewer and water pipe needs, and has been spending some money on updating those pipes when it can.
Cole said the plan in place — to pave between three and five miles of road while updating the pipes — allows the village to upgrade the roads from a “poor” condition to a better grade, while updating what needs to be fixed underground.
“We want to bring everything up to the necessary status and maintain that,” he said.
A request that will likely be made in the future is funding for emergency communication equipment. The county is expected to upgrade its equipment and the village will have to follow suit if its equipment is too outdated to keep up with newer equipment, or if its equipment doesn’t meet legal standards.
The village has several options for funding its capital projects.
In some cases, the village board approves a transfer of funds to the capital budget from the general fund, and sometimes the village receives a grant or completes projects with money generated from its enterprise fund.
Enterprise funds collect money from programs and revenue in a specific part of the village. For example, the water enterprise fund generates money that goes right back into any necessary improvements. The village also has a pool enterprise fund, which funds improvements at the municipal pool.
To get an idea of the village’s capital needs, Cole said he asks department heads to submit their capital budget requests each year in November or December. After going through the requests, Cole has the department heads prioritize what’s needed in the next year, and shift the less essential items to a future budget.
Often, equipment is among the most requested items.
Last year, the village spent $1.5 million on new highway equipment.
“We need to make sure the equipment is up to date and works well,” Cole said.
There were some requests for even more highway equipment, but the deputy manager said the village had to trim those requests down to what was absolutely necessary.
Another capital improvement project under consideration is resurfacing and repair of public tennis courts. Cole said the village owns and maintains 26 courts, and the estimated cost for the project is about $55,000.
The village is also responsible for maintaining a portion of several properties around the community, such as the Girl Scout House and Wayside Cottage, for which the village is expected to chip in half the cost of repairs and renovations.
Cole said Freightway Garage, which is expected to undergo a major renovation in the coming years, will, for the time being, continue to be maintained at a basic level with a budget allocation of $50,000.
Budget meetings are open to the public. The next one is March 12. A public hearing on the budget plan is scheduled for April 9.