Monday, November 8, 2010

Capital Investment

Last week I wrote about Community Investment, I described the investment as intangible, I mentioned that a tangible investment is the property tax. Another type of tangible investment is the capital investment a community makes. Capital investments include rebuilding roads (municipalities don't usually build roads, they rebuild them), and maintaining the utilities we all use.

This week the City will bring forward its Capital Improvement's Program projects for FY2012 - 2017. This plan is a vital part of our community planning process. This 6 year program links infrastructure spending with the goals and vision outlined in the City's Master Plan. The projects included represent an effort by City staff to review the needs outlined in the Master Plan (specifically the Community Facilities and Utilities, Recreation and Transportation Chapters) and prioritizing them based upon resources available.

For a project to make the CIP it must have a 3 year lifespan, have an aggregate cost of at least $10K, and meet one of the following criteria:
>Promote the health and safety of employees or the community
>Protect previous capital investments
>Lower the cost to deliver a service, or raise the revenue potential of that service
>Increase efficiency in service delivery.

Wednesday, November 10th, the City Council and Planning Board will meet in joint session to discuss the projects in year one. This year staff have put together a new presentation format for viewers. Instead of each department head approaching the podium and discussing their project, a video has been created showing the various year one projects. This video groups all of the projects in one singular plan, and brings a holistic feel to the whole program. The video allows us to bring the ambulance into the room with the decision makers, it allows the staff to more effectively communicate the needs of the city.

Following the presentation on the 10th, the video will run on Channel 22 and be available online to stream so that viewers who miss it can go back and see it over again, if they need to. In addition, we have created a new web page for the CIP. This web page has a basic summary of each project, the cost and how it is proposed to be funded. The page also includes an interactive map of the projects so residents can see their proximity to a proposed project. In the future we will be updating the site to include progress reports, ETAs and other useful information for the public.

The CIP is adopted through a public participation process. The Planning Board is holding a public hearing on November 16th and the Council will hold one in December. You have the ability to have your voice heard at these, and other points. Please take advantage of that right.

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