Board Recommends $100 Million Capital Construction Plan, Now State Has To Find Funding

CARSON CITY – A state panel today recommended a $100 million capital construction plan to Gov. Brian Sandoval for the next two years, but finding funding for the many desperately needed maintenance projects is still a work in progress.

Sandoval will review the list and potentially make some revisions before submitting it to the 2013 Legislature as part of his overall budget.

Of the total construction budget, about $80 million will require some form of state funding.

The state Public Works Board approved the list of 83 projects, most of which are maintenance and health and safety related, from asbestos removal at the Henderson Armory to boiler improvements at Lake’s Crossing Center for the Mentally Disordered Offender in Sparks.

But Jeff Mohlenkamp, state budget director and member of the board, said he is still researching funding alternatives to pay for the projects. Property tax revenue that has typically been used to pay for such projects in the past is not expected to generate enough funding because of Nevada’s economic difficulties.

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

Mohlenkamp said he is still reviewing possible alternative funding options.

“We’re hoping to be able to come up with close to the amount being requested, but that’s not a done deal yet,” he said.

“I’m not sure that we’ll be able to come up with the full $80 million at this point,” Mohlenkamp said. “That’s something that I will be researching and going forward working with the governor’s office on. But certainly we’re going to try. The vast majority of these projects are really critical infrastructure projects and we’re going to try to fund as many as possible,”

The capital construction program for the current budget totals only $53 million, with $27 million in bonding from property taxes.

In past sessions when the economy was strong, the Legislature would appropriate tens of millions of dollars for new buildings, from prisons to museums, relying on property tax revenue growth to sell bonds to pay for them

But the ongoing recession in Nevada has eliminated the revenue as a significant funding source for at least the near term.

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Audio clip:

State Budget Director Jeff Mohlenkamp says he is still working on alternatives to funding the much-needed state construction projects:

091812Mohlenkamp :17 many as possible.”