In addition to the annual operating expenditures identified in the budget, the City of University Park also plans, funds, and implements a wide range of capital projects each year. Most of these projects are infrastructure-related, such as replacement of underground water and sewer lines, or reconstruction of streets. To be classified as a capital project, the expenditure must be at least $50,000, and non-recurring in nature. Most capital projects are large-scale and require multiple years to implement.
The City of University Park uses a "pay as you go" approach to fund its capital projects. This means that projects are funded using monies from current sources, rather than through the issuance of debt. In 1993, the City refinanced its outstanding debt and structured the annual debt service payments so that they would decrease each year. As the amount of debt service stepped down each year, the City budgeted the amount of the decrease into the operating budget, so the total amount collected remained level. In this manner the City was able to begin collecting an increasing amount each year for use in funding capital projects.
At the beginning of Fiscal Year 1994, the City established a separate Capital Projects Fund to receive project funding and make project expenditures. Staff identified specific capital projects and presented them to a new Capital Projects Review Committee, composed of residents (including former mayors) appointed by the City Council. In Fiscal Year 2003, the City created a second Capital Projects Fund to track "enterprise" (water and sewer related) projects, with the original Fund being used for all other projects, known as "governmental" projects
Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
The first year of the five-year CIP serves as the current year CIP budget. Projects are categorized in four ways: Information Services, Parks, Public Safety, and Public Works. A five-year CIP summary matches funding requirements with funding sources.