Amid the stressful budget-crunching prompted by state-mandated property tax cuts, Largo city commissioners took time Tuesday to discuss major projects planned for the next five years.
The slate of capital improvement projects, estimated at $200-million, include a new community center and a rebuilt Highland Recreation Complex, as well several sewer service upgrades.
City officials estimate that projects related to the sewer improvements will cost more than $80-million. But at Tuesday's work session, staff said tests are necessary to better estimate what projects are needed and how much they will cost.
The city must upgrade the system because of an agreement with the Florida Department of Energy Protection to reduce sewage overflows.
At the meeting, commissioners asked staff when they could provide more definite figures.
"We're making progress at doing things, but in terms of the bigger projects — long term, we're not there yet," said Irvin Kety, environmental services director.
Commissioners have not yet committed any money to the projects. The purpose of Tuesday's work session was to begin long-term planning for the city's future.
The city plans to build the new community center, estimated at $10.1-million, in the 2009 fiscal year. The Highland complex, projected at $19.3-million, would be designed and built between the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years. The 35-year-old existing recreation complex will be demolished and replaced with a two-story, 36,000-square-foot facility.
Plans for the project include relocating the facility's basketball courts and skate park, adding a lighted, multipurpose field, and replacing the facility's tennis courts.
The city also plans to replace the entire playground structure in Largo's Central Park for $300,000 by the 2010 fiscal year.