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Capital Projects Need Funding

Council reviews shortfalls for Sugarland Run Trail and new police facility.

Town staff presented the Town Council with a staff report addressing the financial discrepancies the town is facing with the completion of the Sugarland Run Trail Capital Project and the completion of the Herndon Police Facility.

Mary Tuohy, director of finance for the town, said with recent bids for the construction of the police facility and the Sugarland Run Trail capital projects, the town has learned it is facing "significant funding shortfalls" for the two projects.

A Sept. 10 memorandum by Town Manager Stephen Owen, town manager, states a detailed explanation of the shortfalls as well as anticipated shortfalls for the construction of phase four of the Herndon Community Center. In the memo, Owen states four solutions to the shortcomings. They include, delaying construction; reducing costs without reducing scope; reducing scope; obtaining additional funding.

The town suggested to the council they opt for the fourth solution and obtain additional funding. This alternative would require the transfer of the available Fiscal Year 2005 budget and reserve funds not yet anticipated for expenditure during the remainder of the FY 2005 from five capital projects to the current ones in question. The memo also explains any funding adjustments that would be awarded to the community center would be proposed after the bids have been received and analyzed.

"THIS IS A COD LIVER and oil memo," said council member Dennis Husch. "It didn't go down, but it's good for you."

Husch said although the news was not good that funds will be taken away from such proposed projects as the Runnymede Park Nature Center, the Cultural Arts Center, Station Street Improvements, East Spring Street Improvements and the Herndon Parkway/Van Buren Street Intersection, he said they are necessary to complete the two projects before the time limit ran out on the current grants.

"I think we have no choice but to do this," said Husch. "But I think we need to put the replacement of the Runnymede funds back on top of the list for next year."

Under the proposed transfer, of the $800,000 slotted for the nature center, $500,000 will be transferred to the police facility and Sugarland Run Trail project. But town staff reassured that money would be returned through bonds paid by the town in time for the nature center's construction to move forward.

"THERE WILL LIKELY be concern," said council member Harlon Reece, of the transfer from the nature center's budget. "I think we need to be prepared to provide as much assurance to these people that this will be a top priority next year."

The amount needed is $1,1118,122, which will be taken from, $397,122 from the Cultural Arts Center; $46,000 from Station Street Improvements; $150,000 from East Spring Street Improvements; $25,000 from Herndon Parkway/Van Buren Street Intersection.