County Manager Harry Burgess
County Manager Harry Burgess addressed questions that have arisen in the last month regarding citizen desires for anticipated or additional capital improvement projects (CIP) and whether or not the CIP will be an agenda item during budget hearings for FY16 that will be coming up in April.
Burgess explained that there will not be placeholders for individual CIP projects in the FY16 budget, but rather that money will be proposed to be accumulated in the CIP fund balance, so that it is available for a future Council discussion about the overall CIP plan. He does not expect the Council to have a detailed CIP discussion during budget hearings.
“During the Council’s discussions earlier this year about budget guidance for FY16 (including the CIP), they indicated that they wanted to defer having a conversation about specific projects until after the budget hearings,” he said.
Part of that consideration was due to the large number of projects already in construction, including the Teen Center, new White Rock Library and Youth Activity Center remodel, Golf Course Community Building and Nature Center.
Improvements to the golf course and updates to the ice rink facility are two project placeholders currently in the County’s FY15 budget that were anticipated to move to final design and construction after July 1, which marks the beginning of the County’s new fiscal year (FY16). Both projects will still be represented within the proposed FY16 budget document, including their most recent cost estimates for implementation, as part of the overall CIP plan. Together, the two projects were previously estimated to cost $12.63 million.
While the projected fund balance in the CIP fund is expected to exceed that amount, there is no plan to move ahead with either project until further direction is received from the Council as part of the broader deferred CIP discussion. No schedule has been established yet to initiate the detailed CIP discussion.