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Capital Improvements Program (CIP)

About the CIP

What is the CIP?

The CIP is the long-range plan for all individual capital improvement projects and funding sources. CIP Projects are unique construction projects that provide improvements or additions such as land, buildings, and infrastructure.

The Citizen's Guide to Infrastructure was produced by the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst and provides a foundation of knowledge about the City's CIP.

Why is the CIP Important?

The CIP helps enhance the overall quality of life in the City by improving the physical structures, systems, and facilities that provide services to the community. CIP projects are generally large and expensive, and the assets they install, replace, or rehabilitate will likely be required for decades of public use.

The CIP is a multiple year forecast of the City's capital needs. A capital need includes various project types such as:

  • Airports
  • Bikeways
  • Bridges
  • Storm drainage and flood control facilities
  • Libraries
  • Park and recreation centers
  • Police, fire and lifeguard facilities
  • Street improvements, lights and traffic signals
  • Sidewalk improvements
  • Utilities undergrounding
  • Water and sewer facilities and pipelines

Is every project part of the CIP?

Every project is part of the CIP. The CIP descriptions clearly establish that a project is capital in nature. What makes it capital in nature is the construction, purchase, or major renovation of buildings, utility systems, and other facilities; in addition to land acquisition and roadway projects.

All capital projects are clearly represented by a City department and categorized by project type and improvement type.

  • Project types provide a categorized breakdown of the type of facility being constructed or improved
  • Improvement types may be identified as improving, expanding, replacing or widening of an existing City asset, or the project that may result in a new asset to the City. For example, the replacement of a pipeline, a street expansion or construction of a new park.

How are projects selected and prioritized?

Historically, the City's CIP needs have exceeded the availability of funding. Therefore, there is a need to prioritize CIP projects. The City has a prioritization process that establishes clear and concise guidelines for project selection. It also has an objective process for ranking projects. This allows decision-makers to make the best use of available funding resources. City Council Policy 800-14 (PDF) explains the purpose, process and implementation of the City's prioritization process.

Who prioritizes the CIP projects?

The Capital Improvements Program Review and Advisory Committee (CIPRAC) prioritizes CIP projects.

Who manages the CIP projects?

Approximately 90% of the City's CIP projects are managed by the Engineering Capital Projects Department. The remaining projects are managed by the asset owners such as Public Utilities, Transportation & Storm Water, etc.

How are CIP projects implemented?

CIP projects start out as infrastructure and capital improvement needs and are different in size and scope. Regardless if it is a street resurfacing job, a pipeline replacement, or construction of a police station, all CIP projects go through various engineering phases before becoming a fully functioning asset. This process is used by engineers and project managers to methodically plan, budget, design and finally construct each project.
See page 29 of the Citizen's Guide to Infrastructure for a description of these phases.