Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.
On Tuesday, March 21, 2017 the city council had its first substantive discussion of the proposed Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget. It centered on its proposed Capital Improvement Program or CIP. What exactly is the CIP? Quite simply it allows the city to build things that include but are not limited to:
- fire and police stations
- libraries, court buildings and office buildings
- parks, trails, open space, pools, recreation centers
- water and wastewater treatments plants and their related infrastructure
- roads, bridges, traffic control devices
- landscape beautification projects
- flood control projects
- computer software and hardware systems other than personal computers and printers
- major equipment purchases such as landfill compactors, street sweepers and sanitation trucks
There is specific council approved policy that dictates the determination of priorities within the CIP: “City Council’s strategic goals and financial policies provide the broad parameters for development of the annual capital plan. For example, Council’s financial policies on Capital Asset and Debt Management state that the 10-year capital plan will address capital needs in the following order:
- Improve existing assets
- Replace existing assets
- Construct new assets”
Additional considerations include but are not limited to the following:
- “Does a project support the city’s goal of ensuring all geographic areas of the city have comparable quality in the types of service that are defined in the Public Facilities section of the General Plan?
- Does the project prevent the deterioration of the city’s existing infrastructure
- Does a project encourage and sustain quality economic development?” (From the city’s proposed Capital Improvement Plan budget, Fiscal Year 2017-18)
You get the idea. Things that are physical…things you can touch and see. I do have concerns with the last two items on the above listing of CIP examples – computer software and heavy equipment.
I went back through my stack of old budget books and the first time I could find the addition of computer software and hardware as part of any CIP was in my FY 2008-09 budget book…a mere 8 years ago. Quite frankly, it was quietly added without any discussion at the time and I don’t remember me or any other councilmember back then questioning or even noticing its addition to the CIP. The same scenario occurred with the line item of major equipment purchases. It suddenly appeared in the CIP.
The city already has a Vehicle Replacement Fund (VRF) and a Technology Replacement Fund (TRF). This is where those two line items belong not in the CIP. If these funds need more money in them to cover these major expenses, then it’s time to allocate more revenue in each of these funds.
It causes me some concern because these big ticket items (major computer software and heavy equipment) could and often do compete for bond funding against the projects our citizens want and expect, such as libraries, recreation centers, adult centers, parks and pools. You know, the projects that maintain and upgrade our quality of life as residents of Glendale and make Glendale more attractive for economic development.
The total proposed funding for projects in the CIP for the upcoming fiscal year is $88,819,541. However, most of this money, $67,610,773 comes from Enterprise funding (water, sewer, sanitation and landfill) in addition to other, dedicated Transportation funding, HURF (Highway User Revenue Funds) and a variety of grant funds.
The other monies to be used within the CIP are Bond Construction Funds made up of 6% or 20% General Obligation (GO) bonds ($14,994,708) and Dedicated Impact Fees (DIF) funds ($6,214,060).
I don’t want to get into the weeds on 6% or 20% GO (General Obligation) bonds or DIF (Development Impact Fees) in this blog. My next one will explain those items in more detail. For now is the take-away that the proposed CIP totals $88 million plus.
© Joyce Clark, 2017
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