What is a Capital Improvement Project?
What is the Capital Improvement Plan?
The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a five-year plan used to coordinate the financing and timing of capital improvement projects for the Town of Bloomfield. Prescribed by Section 903d of the Bloomfield Charter, it contains all capital improvements and other capital expenditures which are proposed to be undertaken during the next five (5) fiscal years. For each proposed project or acquisition, the CIP presents a summary description, cost estimate, and recommended time schedule.
Purpose of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) The CIP provides a means for both coordinating and prioritizing the capital project and acquisition proposals of various departments and agencies. The process allows for careful consideration of all proposed projects and purchases in a more global context than if projects were submitted and evaluated in an adhoc fashion. The prioritization process ensures that the most important and critical projects and acquisitions are undertaken first. A comprehensive CIP shall achieve the following:
- Improve public facilities and infrastructure throughout Bloomfield in a systematic, structured manner.
Improve the safety, mobility and the quality of life of the residents of Bloomfield.
Reflect the current economic environment and changing needs.
Reinforce the Town's financial practices to enhance or maintain credit ratings, thereby minimizing interest costs in financing capital improvements.
Provide estimates of current and anticipated capital improvement needs through the next five years.
The CIP encompasses a five-year period, scheduling the most important, urgent projects in the earliest years. Once the CIP is finalized, Year 1 of the plan is used as a basis for both the capital portion of annual operating budget and for any planned grants or other sources of funding. Once funding has been authorized, either through the adoption of the annual budget or through other means of financing, the projects can begin. Year 1 of the CIP is often referred to as the "Capital Budget" and is incorporated into the operating budget.
For the most part, remaining projects (which are still unfunded) will move up one year in the plan. However, because circumstances change, financial constraints or opportunities emerge, and priorities shift, the schedule for unfunded projects and acquisitions needs is revised each year. Proposed projects and acquisitions can be moved ahead or back, or even eliminated from the plan.
Organization of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
The CIP is generally organized into the following categories:
- Board of Education Projects - Include capital projects for the central office, replacement of facilities equipment, improvements to athletic fields, and on occasion, an improvement to a school facility that is not covered through a state construction grant for schools. These projects are managed by the Board of Education; and project descriptions or other information regarding BOE are not provided on these pages.
- Infrastructure Projects - Include projects affecting transportation and drainage related Town fixed assets generally managed by Public Works, such as roads, bridges, drainage, sidewalks, multi-use trails, traffic signals, and similar assets.
- Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Projects - Include projects affecting parks, athletic fields and courts, playgrounds, open space properties, Town trees, and similar assets.
- Public Facility Projects - Include projects affecting building related Town fixed assets, such as the buildings themselves, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, flooring, windows, parking lots, sidewalks, landscaping, and other external features, electrical systems, lighting, furniture, and similar building related assets.
- Fleet and Equipment Projects - include projects affecting Town rolling stock and equipment, such as cars, trucks, construction equipment, grounds maintenance equipment, machinery, information technology equipment, etc.
- Miscellaneous Projects - include projects that do not fit in any of the preceding categories.
- Current Bond Projects - include projects funded via a public bond referendum. For purposes of presentation under these pages, the bond projects will be grouped into categories 2 through 6 above as appropriate.
- Previously Funded Projects - include projects that were funded in previous fiscal year budgets that remain active. For purposes of presentation under these pages, these projects will be grouped into categories 2 through 6 above as appropriate.
Financing Capital Projects and Acquisitions
The Town has several options for financing capital projects. Through the budget process, the Town puts an amount from its operating budget into a capital non-renewing fund. Other funding sources may include state and federal grants, appropriations from fund balances, and private sources. On occasion, for projects approved by voters at referendum, the Town will borrow funds by issuing general obligations bonds and short term notes. In the past, projects such as major school remodels, the initial construction of Wintonbury Hills Golf Course and building replacements/expansions have been financed through bonding,
The Local Capital Improvement Project (LOCIP) grant is a grant from the State of Connecticut that is used exclusively for capital projects that fall within the acceptable use of those funds. The Grants for Municipal Projects is a grant from the State of Connecticut that is specifically for the construction and maintenance of public highways, roads and bridges, and is the primary source of general road and sidewalk resurfacing. Funds are also received through governments in lieu of federal funds otherwise available through federal transportation legislation, and is administered through the Capital Region Council of Governments. Occasionally, remaining balances from previously authorized projects may be reallocated to proposed projects and acquisitions with Town Council approval.