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County reviews departments’ capital needs

December 4, 2017 GMT

Teton County departments presented their capital improvement needs to the Teton County Board of County Commissioners on Monday as part of the annual update to the Capital Improvement Plan.

The plan is a five-year document, updated each year, that outlines and prioritizes the wish lists of government departments for projects outside operating expenses.

Each department listed the assets over $5,000 it requires, both new requests and repairs and maintenance of existing equipment. The plan is not a binding budgetary document but, rather, a planning tool to allow commissioners to take a long view of departmental needs ahead of budgeting decisions.

“No monies are allocated or committed by virtue of an asset being included in the CIP,” said Alyssa Watkins, the board’s administrator. “This is for you to see in the next five years what might show up at your doorstep.”

The plan lists a total of $172.1 million in capital projects that departments requested for fiscal years 2019-23, including unscheduled improvements, Watkins said.

The bulk of the new project requests are from Engineering Services for roads and from the Teton County/Jackson Parks and Recreation Department, while most of the maintenance requests are for unscheduled fire station renovations and upgrades.

Highlights from staff presentations to the board included requests for funds for county employee housing, equipment for animal carcass disposal, a remodel of the Huff Memorial Library county offices, pathways from Wilson to the Snake River and on South Highway 89, road projects from Stateline Road in Alta to Spring Gulch Road and construction of a gravel stockpiling facility.

The Teton County Affordable Housing Department listed a need for $1 million annually for the housing supply program. Parks and Rec Director Steve Ashworth said his department’s highest priority remains a maintenance facility.

Commissioners will begin the official budget process for the next fiscal year in the spring, likely around April.