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June 11, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, June 11, 2004

Council picks new projects to pursue Council picks new projects to pursue (June 11, 2004)

Library, parks will see improvements

By Corey Pride

A new senior center, a new library book check-in system and some extra bathrooms in parks are a number of the projects the city of Mountain View is scheduled to fund in the next five years.

The city council prioritized its plans for capital improvement projects on May 25 for the 2004-2005 fiscal year and tentatively set goals for future years through 2008-2009.

The council wrestled with renovations and upgrades it would like to see addressed in coming months through its capital improvement program. Projects set for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, are more than 40 in number and could cost up to $23 million or more.

Mayor Matt Pear said the city must provide for regular maintenance in order to keep the city livable for residents.

"We have to keep the infrastructure up-to-date. No business wants to move to a city that's falling apart but more importantly than that, no one wants to live in that type of city," Pear said.

Projects in the program are funded by a combination of monies restricted for specific uses -- money for sewer repair would come out of the sewer and solid waste fund for example -- and unrestricted money from property taxes and reserve funds.

Mountain View will spend $385,000 to resurface streets and $284,000 on its water system, but some council members don't see those as the city's most pressing issues.

Council member Nick Galiotto said the most important project moving forward in the next fiscal year to him is the senior center. The senior center on Escuela Avenue was discovered to be seismically unsafe in 2002. An interim center opened last year at the same address and $500,000 is being allotted in fiscal year 2004-2005, along with previously designated funds, for design and construction of a permanent facility.

"The senior center has been a pet project of mine. It's very important for me to see it go forward," Galiotto said.

Not all of the improvements the council wants to make can be done in one year. Thus, projects are scheduled through 2008-2009. Deciding what projects must be done, or at least started, this year became a give and take for the council.

Council member Greg Perry wanted to scale down a library-use survey scheduled for 2004-2005. Council member Rosemary Stasek didn't agree.

"Doing one piece of it doesn't give us a whole picture. If we were to ask the public what were the most important services, they'd say garbage collection and the library," Stasek said.

The library survey remains on the list of projects to be done in the next fiscal year along with the installation of an $800,000 automated book check-in system.

Perry would like to see bathrooms constructed for some of the city's parks. Sixteen of the city's 30 parks are without restrooms. Four parks (Bubb, Landels, Huff and Slater) meet the city qualifications to have restroom facilities on site. Construction of a restroom at Landels Park is tentatively set to begin in 2005-2006.

Vice Mayor Matt Neely said although some projects have to be put on hold for funding or staffing concerns, it's important for capital improvements to move forward.

"We want to cut the ribbon," Neely said. "The public wants to see you start a project and finish a project. They have seen plenty of projects put on hold. That doesn't excite them."

E-mail Corey Pride at

Top 2004-2005 Projects Cost
Recycled Water Distribution System $8.1 million
Sanitary Sewer Main Replacement $1.2 million
Water Main Service Line Replacement $1.3 million
Street Resurfacing Program $685,000
Senior Center Design and Construction $500,000






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