Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Council Begins Review of Proposed 5 year Improvement Projects

Plan identifies projects, costs and funding sources, helps decision-making.

Milton City Council members got their first look at the proposed five-year Capital Improvement Plan for the city that would begin in the 2008 fiscal year.

The CIP identifies projects, their costs, how the projects are to be funded and the year they would be funded. Carol Wolfe, Milton’s director of operations, said a capital project is defined as one with a useful life exceeding three years with an estimated cost in excess of $50,000. It also can be an improvement or addition to an existing capital asset such as a building.

Council updates and prioritizes the plan annually during the budget process, and it ultimately results in defining the annual capital budget appropriations, Wolfe said.

The CIP is a formal mechanism for decision-making that also provides an operational link to the city’s long-range plans, Wolfe notes. It also serves as a financial management tool as well as a communication and reporting mechanism.

“The Capital Improvement Plan focuses attention on the community’s goals and needs,” Wolfe said. “It helps build public awareness and consensus for projects and improves inter-governmental cooperation and communication. Perhaps most important of all, it ensures the city’s financial stability by allowing us to anticipate the financial resources we need to accomplish these projects.”

Now that council members have seen the number and scope of the suggested projects, staff will continue to refine projects’ scope, costs and operating impact. The next discussion on the CIP will take place at the May 10 council workshop.

The City of Milton, incorporated on Dec. 1, 2006, is a community of some 20,000 residents in northwest Fulton County. With its numerous horse farms, family-friendly neighborhoods and limited commercial development spread out over 23,000 acres, Milton offers a rural, small-town atmosphere that still affords easy access to the big-city amenities of nearby Atlanta.

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