City projects await mayor recommendation

Published 9:24 pm Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Most would likely not argue the city of Troy has been productive with construction this summer. From increasing sewer capacity to road paving projects, the city’s residents have seen their share of construction crews.

But, there are still some capital projects yet to be addressed. Namely, the Troy Public Library and the Pike Animal Shelter, both of which have requested city funding in their efforts.

Another expense lingering in the city of Troy’s pocketbook is how to continue funding Troy Regional Medical Center, an expense it officially took on in January.

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Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said he would be working to create a long-term expense plan to present to the city council, but the recommendation is still in its early stages.

“I’m still trying to figure out exactly where we are financially,” Lunsford said.

Lunsford originally hoped to have that plan ready for the council by its meet next Tuesday, but he said it will likely come later this month.

The next meeting this month will be July 27.

Library committee members presented plans in February for its new facility, to be located on Elm Street where the old Troy High School once stood, and funding is now all the project lacks.

“It’s really up to the city to take the next step,” said Library Director William White. “We’ve taken it really as far as we can take it.”

The plans presented were for a 24,495 square-foot facility will be built with the main entrance directly facing Walnut Street. The building will have side entrances that face both Academy and Elm Streets, with the side facing Elm Street resembling the former high school’s look.

The building will have a clock tower on top that will be visible from the downtown area.

Inside, the library will be two stories, with a front meeting room, a break room, an expanded children’s area and a large conference room. The library will also have study rooms and additional computers for Internet use, just to name some of its features.

The project as presented then will total around $4.5 million.

The Pike Animal Shelter, desiring to work in conjunction with the city of Troy’s current shelter facility run by the police department, came to the council in late April asking for a long-term commitment of $81,700 per year.

This would fund the operations of the shelter, employee one and a half people and create a facility that include kennels for dogs and cats, a separate area for medical care and cleaning, outdoor play areas for shelter dogs and a dog park for the community to bring their pets. Currently, the shelter holds only dogs.

Donna Schubert, chair of the founder’s society, said funding is also all this project really lacks.

“We are still in budget discussions with the city,” Schubert said. “The needs in the city are so great, and our goal is to work with the city. We know that’s possible so that is what we are pursuing.”

The shelter group plans to address the council one final time, likely at the July 27 meeting.

The hospital funding is an expense Lunsford said may be tough to predict long-term. But, after the city of Troy passed its one-cent sales tax to fund the facility’s operations, the mayor said he would give voters the option to tap into a $16 million trust fund to lessen that tax instead. The trust can only be used with consent of the voters.

Lunsford said aside from these projects he had other aspects to present with his plan, but he said he isn’t ready to comment on what those are.