Capital Improvement Plan
A Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a major public infrastructure and planning tool for municipalities. The CIP is a statement of the City's policies and financial abilities to manage the physical development of the community. The development of a multi-year CIP provides a systematic plan for providing infrastructure improvements within a prioritized framework.
The CIP sets the general schedule within which public improvements are proposed to be undertaken. The first year reflects the adopted Budget for the fiscal year. The next several years represent a schedule and estimate of future capital needs that may be funded given projected revenue estimates. The CIP is reviewed and revised annually. A proposed CIP is presented to the appropriate City Committees and the City Council as part of the annual budget process. A final CIP is presented to the City Council and is adopted.
There are several benefits to developing and adopting a Capital Improvement Plan. Not only does the CIP become a management tool for the City Council and City staff, but a CIP also provides valuable information to the citizens, developers, and businesses who are interested in the development of the community. The CIP document will assist in leveraging available resources through improved timing of projects, and coordinating City projects with those of other public or private entities.
Despite the many benefits of capital improvement planning, it is important to highlight the fact that this is a fluid document and guide. Changes can occur for many reasons. Revenues can fluctuate as a result of changing economic conditions or shifts in public policy. Private economic decisions can also affect the timing, scale, and location of capital projects. Finally, community objectives are difficult to set and may be altered during the budget process when priorities are often revised.
In summary, a CIP should reflect community assets, community needs, and community goals. A CIP should also provide guidelines for growth and development.