As Town Manager Kaj Dentler noted this week, Leesburg has quite a bit of catching up to do to fund needed projects.
At the core of that is the town’s Capital Asset Replacement Program, which Dentler has proposed to be integrated into the fiscal year 2019 Capital Improvements Program. The Capital Asset Replacement Program was started by Dentler’s predecessor, former town manager John Wells, as a way to annually inventory the town’s infrastructure needs.
Within the laundry list of projects proposed every year can be found everything from flooring upgrades to HV/AC replacement, even purchasing new exercise equipment for Ida Lee Park Recreation Center. Annually, $1.3 million in projects has been funded per the town’s Long-Term Sustainability Plan.
However, the need is far greater.
Dentler says, ideally, more than $3 million should be allocated to address the town’s aging infrastructure. A memo given to the council in October underscores that need. For the current fiscal year, town department heads requested more than $2.5 million in projects from the Capital Asset Replacement Fund, leaving more than $1 million in projects unfunded.
The unfunded requests include everything from a new playground at Greenway Park, at $50,000, to five new fleet vehicles for the Leesburg Police Department, at $40,000 each. On the latter, the police department requested 17 vehicle replacements for fiscal year 2019. Four cruisers are proposed to be funded.
All projects not funded within a fiscal year are re-evaluated the following year. For fiscal year 2019, funding for capital asset replacements total $1.6 million.
A full listing of projects for the Capital Asset Replacement Program, as well as more budget details, can be found at leesburgva.gov/budget.