LEWISTON — Repairing Kennedy Park’s historic gazebo should be high on the city’s 2012 spending plan, according to one resident Tuesday night.

Councilors voted to approve a list spelling out $115 million in capital improvements, equipment purchases and project spending over the next five years. The city’s Capital Improvement Program also suggests which city funds will be used to pay for the programs and equipment.

This year’s plan calls for spending $28.3 million in the 2011-12 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Of that, $13.8 million would come from earmarked state and federal grants for projects such as interchange improvements at Lewiston’s turnpike exchange at Exit 80, paving and sidewalk improvements across the city and replacing an emergency generator in City Hall.

The city would use another $635,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funding for three projects: property acquisition and demolition, street rehabilitation and improvements at Sunnyside Park.

The city’s operating budget would pay $2.5 million for four items: street maintenance, sidewalk work, streetlight improvements and other equipment purchases.

Most of the rest would be paid with bonds, including a general $4.6 million bond.  Other bond packages include $2 million for the sewer department, $1.2 million for the water department and $1.7 million for storm-water runoff work.

Projects for the 2011-12 fiscal year include $810,000 for road repaving, $1.1 million for road maintenance, work on city buildings, Kennedy Park, work at the city’s landfill and economic development projects.

Councilor John Butler argued for reworking parts of the plan, spending $115,000 on the Franklin Pasture running track and moving $50,000 worth of work on a multiple-year, cross-country running trail into the 2011-12 fiscal year.

To balance the costs, he suggested delaying work on Kennedy Park until the 2012-13 budget year.

“My personal feeling is that we should try to hold this for one more year, which would be saving $160,000,” Butler said.

But Doug Hodgkin, of 9 Sutton Place, said it would be a bad idea to delay work there, especially to the park’s historic gazebo. The city closed the gazebo in March 2010 when engineers declared it unsafe.

“The gazebo in Kennedy Park is in dire straits,” he said. “It’s been subject to neglect, deferred maintenance and is now closed to the public as a danger. In my opinion, it’s urgent that something be done with this historic structure before it’s too late.”

Councilor Tina O’Connell agreed with Hodgkin.

“This whole park plan started even before I was on the council,” O’Connell said. “It’s been postponed again and again. I know we have other projects we want to do, but I think we need to finish the projects we have started before we add more.”

Councilors approved the plan as presented, without Butler’s suggested changes. Butler said there would be plenty of time to review them next year.

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