Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How are projects selected for the Capital Improvement Plan?

A. Projects included in the plan must require significant investment and be essential to safeguarding the financial health of the city. They also must benefit more than a single fiscal period and by providing continued delivery of service to citizens and businesses.

The plan is developed in collaboration between city leadership and department superintendents. Projects include infrastructure repair and replacement, system improvements, capacity increases, and community enhancement.

Q. How often does the city review the plan?

A. The city reviews the CIP at least every two years to make adjustments based on community needs and changes in financial resources. The projects are listed according to priority, so the most urgent are tackled first.

Q. How does the city pay for these projects?

A. Projects are funded through a combination of utility rates, tax increment revenue, user fees, general fund dollars, grants, and system development charges. Funds cannot be transferred between some departments. For example, street income can only be utilized for repair and maintenance or capital improvements associated with the Street Department.

A 2018 sewer and water utility rate study revealed the need to implement a new rate structure that would allow the city to operate and maintain existing infrastructure and accumulate reserve funds for anticipated capital improvements needs. Anticipated revenue from the increased rate was used to estimate funds available for water and wastewater projects.

Q. What happens if a project cost comes in higher than the budgeted amount?

A. Estimates are based on discussions with city staff and bid results from similar nearby construction projects. Each project estimate includes a 3.9% annual inflation rate to cover increasing costs. The CIP is a planning document, and the final contracts are presented to the City Council for approval. Project timelines are flexible and may be adjusted to match available revenue and other capital priorities.

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