BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR
The 2016-2021 Boyne City Capital Improvement Plan was recently approved by the Boyne City Planning Commission for recommendation to the Boyne City Commission.
Future projects include improvements to sidewalks, streets, Veterans Park, a fire department air filling station, purchase of a new police cars and mower, a new ball diamond at Rotary Park including work on its parking lot and tennis courts, Silver Street reconstruction, Cedar Street reconstruction and much more.
“As required by the (Michigan) Planning Enabling Act, the planning commission needs to review and recommend the Capital Improvement Plan annually,” said McPherson at the Boyne City Planning Commission’s Monday Feb. 15 meeting. “This plan was reviewed by the various department heads with an update.”
According to city officials, the Capital improvement Program is based on a six-year schedule that lays out proposals of major capital projects with cost estimates and their financing methods.
“The Capital Improvements Program (CIP) establishes the city’s blueprint for investment in its capital infrastructure,” the plan states. “This document is used as a tool to help ensure that the city’s long and short-term capital investments are made in the context of careful consideration of the city’s needs as well as the resources available to fund all projects.”
It further states, “The financial guidelines used in the preparation of the CIP will provide assurance that the city can meet, in a full and timely manner, both our debt service obligations and all other obligations competing for available resources. It is our objective to complete as many needed capital improvement projects as financially possible while maintaining flexibility and the ability to adapt to changes as they occur.”
According to the plan, capital expenditures building construction and renovation, land purchases and improvements, and major equipment.
The six major categories in the Capital Improvement Plan are: city facilities, equipment, parks, streets and sidewalks, wastewater treatment, and Water Production.
The capital improvements planned for 2016 include street and sidewalk work through the Safe Routes to School program, construction of the new city facilities, parks and recreation improvements like the Boyne City to Boyne Falls non-motorized trail, purchase of a new fire department tanker truck, preventative maintenance on various streets and sidewalks and replacement of a ¾ ton pickup with a plow.
“We had a meeting with MDOT a couple weeks ago and resolved the final issues on the signaling for the pedestrian crossings in front of the school,” McPherson said.
Capital Improvement Program vs. Annual Operating Budget
According to officials, the Capital Improvement Program is different from the city’s annual operating budget
Differences between the CIP and the budget are outlined—directly from the plan—below:
Capital Improvement Program
• Represents a long-term financial plan, including funding sources.
• Establishes priorities and serves as a planning document or blueprint for the City’s investment in capital infrastructure.
• Provides a breakdown of major project costs and their phasing.
• Does not appropriate money.
• As indicated by the above points, the Annual Operating Budget is the document which authorizes the actual funding for the major and non-major capital projects.
Annual Operating Budget
• Appropriates money to implement the first year of the Six-Year Capital Improvement Program.
• Appropriates money to implement current year’s phase of a major, multi-year project.
• Appropriates money for operating expenditures and expenditures of a continuing nature.
Capital Improvement Program Guidelines and Benefits
According to the plan, city officials use several guides to determine the municipality’s ability to fund the projects within the plan.
• The Capital Improvement Program will be reviewed and updated annually.
• The City has determined that paying cash for projects where financially possible (pay-as-you-go financing) reduces long term costs and maintains financial flexibility for the future. In utilizing pay-as-you-go financing, revenue projections and estimated fund balances will be reviewed and evaluated to assure that sufficient reserves are maintained.
• It is not economically feasible to issue debt for some projects, nor do all projects have a projected lifespan long enough to warrant the issuance of debt.
• Under current economic conditions, the ability to complete many projects will depend on identifying and obtaining outside sources of funding.
• The City’s philosophy for projecting property tax revenues is conservative. While the taxable value has had minimal decreases over the past few years we anticipate a small increase for 2016.
• As a matter of general policy, the City will pursue, when feasible, federal, state and local assistance in the form of grants, low-interest loans, cost-sharing, etc.
According to the plan, there are many benefits to a CIP:
• Coordination of the community’s physical planning with its fiscal planning capabilities;
• Ensuring that public improvements are undertaken in the most desirable order of priority;
• Assisting in stabilization of tax and utility rates and other charges over a period of years;
• Producing savings in total project costs by promoting a “pay as you go” policy of capital financing thereby reducing interest expense and financing costs;
• Providing adequate time for planning and engineering of proposed projects;
• Ensuring the maximum benefit of the monies expended for public improvements; and
• Scheduling municipal construction activities to be better coordinated with those of other public agencies within the community.
According to the plan, Boyne City officials primarily use the general fund, enterprise funds or special revenue funds for capital project funding, though outside sources of funding have also significantly contributed to capital projects.
“Projects that identify outside funding sources have a more uncertain time-frame, but staff has attempted to be realistic with projections based on the need for a match in local funding,” the plan states.