Fraser’s proposed budget invests in infrastructure for 2020 |

Fraser’s proposed budget invests in infrastructure for 2020

A look into the design of the Lions Ponds area in the Fraser River Corridor Master Plan. Fraser plans to continue investing in the project next year.

Fraser is looking to invest in infrastructure in 2020.

At its meeting on Wednesday, the town board discussed the proposed 2020 budget and how best to balance building up the town’s reserves with paying for new infrastructure projects.

“I mean this is a good problem,” Trustee Ryan Barwick said. “It means we have money to work with and we just have to decide what to do with it.”

Some of the larger investments the town is planning include $925,000 for water projects, such as replacing old lines and installing new equipment, and $1.2 million for improvements to the wastewater system.

Town Manager Jeff Durbin noted investing in repairs and updates next year will likely keep the town from having to pay larger costs in the future.

“If we don’t continue the progress here, we’re going to have some serious expenses and real problems at the wastewater plant,” Durbin said. “We have expensive infrastructure and we need to be thinking about the future.”

Another $1 million in the proposed budget has been dedicated to street improvement projects, including paving on County Road 8 and County Road 72, as well as Eisenhower Drive. The town does not expect to be on the hook for the full cost of paving the two county roads, thanks to contributions from the county.

“It sounds like that’s what we’ve got to do,” Trustee Andy Miller said of the budget allocation.

Aside from infrastructure, two major projects Fraser plans to finance next year include $500,000 to support affordable housing and around $1.2 million for the Fraser River Corridor Master Plan project

The town also anticipates receiving grants from several entities that will cover almost three-fourths of the river corridor project. Council members agreed the town likely wouldn’t move forward on the work without the grants.

The budget also outlines $260,000 in capital equipment, $60,000 for the Public Arts Committee and $40,000 to study a whistle-less railroad crossing at Eisenhower Drive.

A final budget hearing and adoption is scheduled for Dec. 4.

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