The Department of Administration's Capital budget for 2004 is the smallest it has been in several years, but it is not substantially different in character from those of 2002 and 2003.
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
Assistant City Administrator/City Planner
Installation of a secure mail drop-box in the lobby of the Government Center. This is needed for the drop off of receipts from recreational operations in the evenings and on weekends. Correspondence, payments and similar after-hours communications can also be placed in this facility.
Replacement of one vehicle in the administrative fleet that is in the poorest mechanical condition. This is part of the multi-year program to upgrade the whole administrative fleet.
Due to the high cost of contracting the installation of streetlights with private sector contractors, Ballwin has established the policy of installing streetlights with its own crews. Due to the manpower limitations in the Public Works Department, Ballwin has not been able to achieve the aggressive installation schedule that has been budgeted in the past 3 years. The smaller 2004 budget reflects the smaller number of lights that can be installed in a year given the staffing limits for this work.
|TIF MUNICIPAL REVENUE FUNDING||$62,500.00|
Additional scanner for the document imaging and retrieval system ($5,000)
Replace 20 system workstations @ $1,800 each including Office 2K3 licenses ($36,000). This is part of the 4 year replacement schedule to keep all system workstations with current technology and software.
Replace the Finance Department file server ($7,000). This is part of the equipment replacement program.
Replace the main system printers at the Pointe and in the Finance Department ($9,000). This too is part of the equipment replacement program.