At the December 12, 2022 Town Council Meeting, the Town Council was presented with and unanimously approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 budget for the Town. The budget presented is a balanced budget and is focused on providing key services through operations and maintenance funding.
As Town Administration works through the budget process, our focus is to understand the key objectives and goals of the Council and receive feedback from you, our residents. A key focus of the budget is to produce projects and programs that improve the quality of life for our community and its businesses. Your input helps to drive the future of this Town, and we are incredibly grateful for your feedback and ideas throughout 2022 and into 2023. Below are some of the highlights of the approved budget for FY 2023 that directly benefit the community and improve services.
First and foremost is the creation of a strategic plan. The Town is in the process of creating a plan that will complement the mission, vision, and values of the organization. The plan will help to set the direction of the future of the organization and will identify the goals and priorities of the organization for the Community. Prior to its adoption, we will want your feedback to ensure we are meeting your expectations and desires for the Community.
Recreation planning and construction projects are a key focus of 2023. The Town recently accepted a donation of approximately 60 acres of vacant land and expects to take ownership of the old Letford Elementary School site (about 6 acres) in 2023. Given the opportunity to better program these spaces to meet community needs and desires, we will be issuing an RFP for Park Planning consulting services, that will include community participation. We will begin the planning phase in Q2 of 2023 and hope to begin construction around Q4 of 2023 for one of the spaces mentioned above. We have also allocated funds in 2023 for purchase of acreage in the Larimer County portion of Johnstown for a regional park. The funding for this purchase is through the collaborative agreement with Larimer County and sharing of sales tax they assess for Larimer County for Open Space. Both existing open spaces are great opportunities to begin focusing on regional park development and your feedback is essential to this process.
In January, we started construction on the Thompson River Trail Project. This walking path is located along County Road 46.5 just east of Parish Avenue. The trail will travel west to CR19 and is a section of the trail that will connect Johnstown and Milliken. We expect this phase of the project to be completed by May 2023. Additional trail connectivity projects will be a major focus in each fiscal year moving forward.
This year, we have allocated $1.1 million towards our pavement maintenance programming. This is up 10% compared to the original 2022 budget. Additional funding beyond the pavement maintenance program is being allocated for the Charlotte St. Improvement project which began in late 2022. This project will be completed in Summer 2023.
In late 2022, the Town completed an updated Hwy. 60 Corridor Analysis with the focus to improve traffic flow. Aspects included (to name a few) determining future intersection locations, signalization, and travel lanes. The Hwy. 60 report has been submitted to CDOT for review and will be used as a planning tool as development occurs along this corridor. One action item from the Hwy. 60 report was to install a new traffic signal at the intersection of Carlson Blvd. and Hwy. 60. The Town has secured a federal grant to help with the cost on this project, estimated at about $550,000. The signal should be installed sometime in Q2 of 2023, subject to approval processes required with the federal funds. This will help vehicles exiting from neighboring subdivisions and Elwell Elementary School.
This year, we will also design a new intersection at CO Blvd. and Hwy 60. Given the traffic coming from all directions, a full motion intersection will be designed. The Town will pursue grant funding for the project with hopes to perform construction in 2024. Other smaller, but meaningful projects include a partnership with CDOT for grant funding to improve the railroad crossings on Highway 60 near downtown and an evaluation of methods to improve traffic flow in the roundabout on Thompson Parkway in the Johnstown Plaza at 2534 .
In 2023 we will complete the South Water Tower and the Low Point Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) expansion projects. At the same time, we will be transitioning to other significant and necessary capital projects for both water and wastewater. We will begin construction of a new Central WWTP which will take about 24 months and should begin in Q2 of 2023. This is necessary due to compliance issues with our dated lagoon system. The replacement of the facility will also increase the plant treatment capacity from ~1 million gallons per day (MGD) to 2.5 MGD. The current facility has been in place for over 50 years. We will also be expanding our water treatment plant from 6 million gallons per day (MGD) to 12 MGD. This construction timeline will also take about 24 months and will begin in Q4 of 2023. This expansion will allow us to meet the maximum water demands during the summer of current residents as well as plan for future growth. The implementation of water restrictions in 2022 was due to treatment capacity limits during peak summer irrigation periods from existing water users.
The treatment plant projects are made possible by a combination of new growth paying plant investment fees toward the system and current development paying regular user rates. Property tax or sales tax dollars do not go towards funding these improvements based on the water and wastewater fund classifications.
Last, but not least is the inclusion of four new police officers to the department. This will help to support the existing team of police officers and shifts to ensure safety is a primary focus and core value of the organization for the Community.
While this is just a small look at some of the improvement projects you can expect in 2023, we want to continue hearing from you. We welcome your ideas at any time so that we can better plan, meet your needs as a community, and provide you with the services you deserve. Overall, the Town is in a healthy financial position. The Town Council and the organization are committed to ensuring our financial position is secured, today and into the future. Please feel free to contact me as I am happy to hear about the great ideas we should consider in the future. Your partnership is important as we continue to build an amazing community!
Your Town Manager,