Fall in Dover brings Apple Harvest Day (see last week's blog), leaf clean up, and the Capital Improvement's Program (CIP). This is the second year I have overseen the development of the plan that makes up the CIP. Last year was a lot of fun. I felt challenged and trusted by taking over the work and enjoyed both feelings. This year I felt challenged again because I wanted to make it better.
Human's evolve. We have that whole "live and learn" mentality. I want to live and learn every day. So the challenge with this year's CIP is to do just that. Last year I took note of things the City Manager told me and areas the Planning Board and City Council responded to. Good and bad things and areas. This year will bear the fruits of that note taking. We have revised the plan to elaborate the projects, adding more information and thus pages to the booklet, as well as taking a fresh look at old projects and the funding of those projects.
I don't want to ruin the reveal that is planned for next week, but I think we made some good strides in streamlining the project timeline, listening on how much money the City should bond, and connecting the projects closer to the Master Plan. Two major sections will see bigger changes, than the rest; the recreation section and the education section.
The Recreation section has been attached over the past few years for dreaming too big. This year I worked with the Recreation Director to identify non-bonded monies and allocate them accordingly. Additionally, we have used the Master Plan to drive the projects. Last year, I worked with the Community Services Department to set up a ten year plan (although only the first 6 are shown in the CIP). We now have a stronger idea of where projects will be over the next decade. This year, I took that experience and copied it for the Recreation Department. We have adjusted the plan to reflect a more accurate and fundable program. I think this will be a key change in their year's rollout.
The Education section also sees changes this year. We worked to identify more capital investment, beyond renovating the five schools. This year's program shows projects and a timeline that is more cohesive and understandable for the average resident.
Other changes contained with the program are formatting and readability. Two of my favorite areas. I learned a long time ago, if you can't communicate your ideas, it doesn't matter how good they are. We worked hard last year to develop the video, and that remains in place this year (tweaked of course), and we have some room to grow, but we are evolving and learning in an appropriate fashion.