One thing is for sure – there won’t be any capital improvement projects in Blue Springs that will knock residents’ socks off anytime soon.

One thing is for sure – there won’t be any capital improvement projects in Blue Springs that will knock residents’ socks off anytime soon.

What projects the city does decide to fund within the next six years will be more like taking care of and appreciating what it does have.

Planning Commission members heard that message Monday night after Jim Holley, assistant director of Community Development, and staff unveiled the plan, a plan that’s $40 million less than last year’s proposal.

“There’s not a whole lot new in it,” Holley said, a reference to the proposed $150 million plan, the economy and the city’s stale incoming revenue figure that will inevitably fund it.

“The majority of the projects are maintenance and rehabilitation.”

A total of 75 projects – 26 funded and 49 unfunded – make up the proposal. Funded projects include ongoing projects like upkeep to City Hall and the police station, as well as the streets program and related inclement weather expenses.

But there are some new projects included in the funded list, including mobile data terminals and automatic license plate reading technology for police cruisers, as well as the purchase of an ambulance.

The federally mandated project, of converting the city’s radio communications system to digital, wasn’t included on the list, a fact that got Commission member Ken Billup’s attention – again.

“We’re fast running out of time,” Billups said, adding that the city should plan to make some monetary deposits to help the project move along.

Todd Pelham, assistant city administrator, said the system does remain on city staff’s radar and that some alternatives have been discussed to solve the problem.

He said council members and Mayor Carson Ross plan to address it within the coming months.

Also, Pelham said Monday that the state recently voted to allow the city to place a half cent tax on a voting ballot for a public safety issue.

“But City Council has not discussed that option at this point,” he said.

Also on the unfunded list was sidewalk infill for Missouri 7, a heavily traveled state highway that cuts through the center of the city.

Commission member Susan Culpepper asked if the Missouri Department of Transportation would be willing to reimburse the  city if the city chose to complete some or all of the work.

Jeff Sell, assistant director of engineering for the Public Works Department, said the city and MoDOT are trying to work on a joint partnership where the city could offer supplies and MoDOT could offer equipment and manpower.

So far it’s unclear if the proposal would be accepted, though Sell said the city and MoDOT have a good working relationship.

“They may not be able to help us (on Missouri 7), but they’ll help us out somewhere,” Sell said.

The capital improvements program plan for 2010-2016 will be presented to the City Council on June 7.