City of Lawrence

City Manager’s Office



City Commission



Thomas M. Markus, City Manager






May 20, 2016


Executive Staff



Capital Improvements Program Overview


Staff has drafted the 2017-2021 Capital Improvements Program for City Commission review. As the Commission is aware, it has been a number of years since the City has adopted a multi-year capital plan.  This, along with other financial forecasting, is an important tool in financial planning and prioritizing limited resources. 


During the Work Session on May 24, department staff will provide an overview of recommended projects and staff will provide an overview of the CIP plan.  The CIP consists of projects that are greater than $75,000 and have an expected life of at least 5 years.  It should be noted that staff is still working through some of the CIP numbers and it should be considered draft at this point in the process. 


The documents provide an overall summary of the recommended projects by funding source and by department, and a listing of unfunded projects.  The unfunded projects are not financially feasible at this time without an increase in the city’s debt service mill levy or other corresponding revenue adjustments, or adjustments to recommended projects. 



2017 CIP Highlights:

Staff is presenting a balanced CIP program that is within current revenue capacity, based on the assumptions of no additional mill levy in the City’s debt service fund and assuming modest adjustments in several fee-based funds.  Staff will be proposing several modest rate adjustments for 2017 for solid waste and stormwater.            Staff has also made the assumption that the current special sales taxes which expire in 2018 would continue beyond 2018. The Utility projects for 2017 are within the authorized rate adjustments for 2016-17 made during last year’s budget process. Working within these parameters, the 2017 recommended CIP consists of projects which reflect important priorities for the community. 


Affordable Housing and Bike/Pedestrian Priorities:

Importantly, I am recommending inclusion of $300,000 in the 2017 and 2018 years, increasing to $350,000 annually in 2019-2021 for affordable housing initiatives.  I am also recommending an annual allocation of $450,000 ($200,000 from the infrastructure sales tax funds, and $250,000 in general obligation debt) for bike/pedestrian/safe routes to schools/ADA ramp investments, and $100,000 annually for CDBG sidewalk gaps. Also, $200,000 per year is included for traffic calming, which often include bike/pedestrian considerations. While these funding levels are below amounts suggested by community advocates for these initiatives, I believe that they represent a starting point to further these important issues in balance with the city’s current financial capacity. 


Police Facility:

The police facility issue has been an important consideration for the CIP.  In order to further this project, I am recommending that the City Commission have discussions in the near future about designating a site for the facility.  I have allocated $1.5 M in funding as a placeholder for design costs in the 2017 CIP, which maintains all options on the table related to the police facility.  Also, I have allocated $619,000 in the 2018 CIP for ITC deferred maintenance. Construction funding in the amount of $30M is currently identified as unfunded.  This enables the City Commission to have further discussion on this important topic, again with all options on the table for consideration. 




A note about the operational budget:

Departments have submitted budget requests for evaluation.  The budget team is working on review of these budget requests at this time.  Staff is still working with the operational budget in terms of balancing revenues with projected expenditures.  Therefore, it is important to note that the CIP is tentative pending finalization of the operational budgets.  The operational budget will be a focus of upcoming budget work sessions.