Aside from conducting Thursday’s meeting via a videoconferencing app, it was business as usual for the Keene City Council.

The council unanimously approved the city’s capital improvement program, a rough outline of major equipment purchases and infrastructure projects expected over the next seven fiscal years, the first two of which are rolled into the budget proposals for those years.

This capital improvement program is the first since the council adopted a new fiscal policy that stretched the planning document from six years to seven and required council approval every other year, rather than annually.

Projected funding sources, which are subject to change as the city drafts its budget each year, can include current taxes, capital reserve accounts and bonds, as well as state and federal grants.

For the upcoming budget, the 2021-27 program includes removing and replacing two underground tanks at the Dillant-Hopkins Airport, preparing to build a new salt shed and replacing most of the infrastructure along Gilbo Avenue to support the proposed arts and culture corridor.

Later years of the program address an overhaul of Main Street’s underground utilities and surfaces in the downtown revitalization project and replacement of the Robin Hood Park pool, estimated at $3.75 million.

Councilors also greenlighted a new lease at 12 Gilbo Ave., whose last tenant left in August. City Manager Elizabeth A. Dragon will negotiate and execute a lease with John Brown, who currently works at Keene Barber but wants to open his own shop, according to meeting minutes.

And an ordinance was adopted that gave all lodging-house licenses the same expiration date, July 1. The new rule goes into effect July 2 to avoid making everyone who just applied resubmit in a few months, city staff explained.

Keene considers homeless shelters, group homes and fraternity and sorority houses lodging houses for zoning purposes.

{span}Currently, licenses expire one year after approval, but City Clerk Patty Little has said it’s confusing for applicants because there’s no set date for them, and this will simplify the process.

Sierra Hubbard can be reached at 355-8546 or at Follow her on Twitter @SierraHubbardKS.