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Capital programs in Saratoga Springs take a budget hit

"This is a relatively modest amount to maintain this structure as we move forward," said Johnson.

The other four items recommended for 2010, in descending priority:

$300,000 for the purchase of a sewer cleaning vacuum truck. The current truck is outdated.

$200,000 toward repairs and upgrades to city buildings and facilities. This item is always included in the capital program and would cover various projects.

$400,000 to replace antiquated water mains. This cost would come out of the city's water budget.

$175,000 to purchase a new sewer jet truck for cleaning sewer lines. The current truck was made in 1991.

Some of the bigger and more controversial projects that have long been under consideration were placed in a separate section stipulating that they will only be pursued upon the receipt of grant funds.

Included among those items were a new public safety building (estimated at $11.7 million), an eastside fire station (estimated at $4.4 million) and the beginning phase development of waterfront property on Saratoga Lake (estimated at $442,180).

Several improvements to recreational facilities " including an $85,000 replacement of bleachers at the eastside rec facility that were closed due to safety issues " will be contingent upon receipt of funds from the school district, which owns the facilities and reimburses the city for their upkeep.

The capital program budget plots program spending for the next six years, though in practice anything past the coming year is often altered. The committee put several big-ticket items on the docket for 2011, including $2 million for a water tower, $450,000 for an expansion of the compost facility and $700,000 for an emergency generator at the water treatment plant. The suggested amount to be bonded in 2011 was $5.8 million.

The city is limited in its charter to bonding $65 million at any one time. Over $38.7 million of that limit remains.

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