Repairs to city parks’ walking trails are among the proposed projects in the 2019-2020 budget now under development.

The goal, according to the document prepared by Interim Finance Director Brittni Nanson, will be to do the work in house.

That’s possible Public Works Director Kevin Thompson told the newspaper, because of a piece of already-approved road equipment – the asphalt zipper.

Only an estimated $15,000 will be needed to pull up and put back down the Friendship Park and Willie Bell Park walking trails.

“We’ll use the zipper to recycle in place, it’s going to really change the way the walking trails are, we’re going to widen them a little and resurface them,” Thompson said.

The work will be done in between road way projects. Working with the zipper offer the city significant savings. “(It saves) exponentially. We had an estimate two years ago, close to three ... for just under $100,000 ... and that was just one trail,” Thompson said.

Another $50,000 is planned for parking lot improvements at Willie Bell Park.

Most of the others on the recommended list are costly – $400,000 for seal coating and $400,000 for main replacements, for example.

“This CIP (Capital Improvement Program) includes costly, non-routine projects with multiple year life expectancies,” Nanson said.

The zipper is on a five-year lease at $61,350 per year.

“I think it’s going to pay for itself this budget year,” Thompson said.

A sewer jetting machine will ultimately cost $90,000.

“The impact of the street, parks, water and sewer projects will be positive for the city,” Nanson said. “Upgraded or new infrastructure results in lower on-going maintenance costs for the city.”

Other recommended capital purchases for this year are a sewer vector truck and sewer plant maintenance.

Not making the list this year are a street sweeper, a new command unit for the fire department, a $13,650 mower for parks and chemical handling equipment.

Not on the list, but still planned are smaller items like police cruisers.

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