The Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) is a five-year plan identifying the town’s capital outlay and improvement needs. As a long-range plan, the CIP reflects the town's policy regarding future physical and economic development. By providing a planned schedule of public improvements, the CIP outlines present and future public needs and priorities. A capital improvement is defined as any expenditure for equipment, buildings, infrastructure, land acquisition, plan or project in which the cost exceeds $10,000 and the estimated useful life is greater than one year.
Capital project planning is an ongoing process. Each year the CIP document is updated. The need or idea for capital improvements can originate from the mayor, board of commissioners, citizens, or town staff. These items are compiled into this document and presented annually to the board of commissioners. Through a series of work sessions, the board focuses on prioritizing the first year’s expenditures. Once approved, the CIP outlines the town’s official commitment to funding these expenditures in the upcoming budget. During the annual budget process in the spring, the first-year projects are refined and a financing plan is put into place within the budget to fund those expenditures.
Functions of the CIP
A CIP must be updated each year. Adopting a CIP does not end with the first year. Changing needs and priorities, emergencies, cost changes, mandates and changes in technology all require the CIP to be updated annually. The town's public facilities, streets, parks, water lines, equipment, etc., are constantly in need of repair, replacement or expansion. A growing population will require additional or new facilities. These reasons require that the CIP be updated to maintain the financial solidity of the town. The Town of Wake Forest’s staff has updated the CIP each year since adopting the first document in 1985. The CIP achieves the following objectives as a component of the town’s budget and financial planning process:
- Reduces the need for "crash programs" to finance the construction of Town facilities.
- Focuses attention on community goals, needs and capabilities.
- Achieves optimum use of taxpayer dollars.
- Guides future community growth and development.
- Advance planning ensures that projects are well thought out in advance of construction.
- Provides for the orderly replacement of capital expenditures.
- Encourages a more efficient governmental administration as well as maintains a sound and stable financial program.
The CIP Update is the update to the CIP and covers the five fiscal years 2015-2020. This document contains capital expenditure requests from each department/division for items over $10,000 and generally have a useful life of five years or more. This section of the CIP includes a description of the prioritization system, a summary by funding level for the fiscal year 2015-20. A summary by department/division and fund for each of the five fiscal years will be posted soon. The remainder of the document contains summary information for each department/division with supporting information on capital project request forms.