The largest single item of expenditure in 2004 is for the annual upgrade of computer system hardware and software. It has been Ballwin's policy for several years to annually replace 25% of the approximately eighty workstations in the system. In this way, no workstation is more that 4 years old and all stations are running current software applications. Replacement of twenty workstations will include all hardware and the acquisition of current Office software licenses. The six servers running the computer system are on a three year replacement cycle. The finance server is scheduled for replacement in 2004. Printers have a longer lifetime and are replaced on the basis of condition and reliability. The printers in finance and at the Pointe are scheduled for replacement in 2004.
The 2004 budget proposes the acquisition of a replacement automobile in the administrative fleet. This too is a multi-year replacement plan. After 2004, there will be one additional vehicle needed to complete this program. After that, with a little luck, it should be a couple of years before the oldest of the “new” fleet vehicles has to be retired and replaced.
Streetlight installations are again in the budget but at a substantially lower cost than in recent years. This budget recognizes that conduit installations are done with city crews as time is available. In recent years, it was anticipated that Public Works crews would be able to accomplish the installation of a substantial number of streetlights in a year. The past two years have demonstrated that the amount of crew time available is severely limited and an annual installation rate of only about 3-4 lights is possible. For this reason, the budget has been significantly reduced from pervious years.
The capital budget projection for the period 2005-2007 is seen predominantly as a continuation of the recurring capital equipment replacement cycles of recent years. This will also include periodic operating software and minor hardware updates to systems such as security and telephones. Periodic upgrades or the replacement of major software applications such as voicemail and accounting will be necessary. None of these upgrades are expected according to any timetable. These kinds of expenses are inevitably linked to owning and operating these systems. Costs for upgrades are not expected to exceed $10,000, but system replacements can be significantly more expensive.
A more substantial future budget issue is the need to do a major repair to the Government Center parking lot and the plan to design and build a boardroom addition to the Government Center. The time frames for these projects are somewhat flexible at this point, but the parking lot is not in good condition. Ballwin will soon have to address this need. The parking lot repairs are presently estimated to be in the range of 80 – 100 thousand dollars. A boardroom addition to the Government Center is not as pressing, and its cost is harder to estimate depending on the complexity and sophistication of the project, but 1.5 - 2 million dollars is probably a reasonable long range budget estimate at this time.
Thomas H. Aiken AICP
Administration Detail BLDG CONSTRUCT/REMODEL Department Total: