City of Madison

City of Madison Finance | Photo Credit: Archie Nicolette
Date: September 5, 2000
To: President and Members, Madison Common Council
From: Mayor Susan J.M. Bauman
Subject: 2001 Capital Budget and Five Year Capital Improvement Program

I am pleased to present the 2001 Executive Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program for the period 2002 through 2006.

Highlights of the 2001 Capital Budget include significant dollars to ensure that Madison maintains and improves its existing infrastructure, including sidewalks, roads, communication networks, motor equipment and computer systems.

My proposed 2001 Capital Budget will also fun acquisition of land for two future fire stations and furnishings for the new West police station. Planning funds to provide modern working conditions at Franklin Field and for additional office space for downtown offices, one million dollars in general obligation borrowing for TIF projects, and non-general obligation funding for a number of other TIF projects are also included.

The document presented to you also includes a realistic Five Year Capital Improvement Program which should serve as a blueprint for future Capital Budgets. The City has complied with statutory requirements to provide a Capital improvement plan in the past. However, for as long as I can remember, that portion of the Capital Budget has been little more than an agency wish list. Items requested in a particular year which ere not funded that year were simply pushed out into the next year, without regard for the City's ability to provide adequate funding in the future. This practice, while in many ways the path of lest resistance, resulted in agencies making the same request year after year and not having a realistic understanding of whether a project might come to fruition and, if so, when.

As the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee and Capital Improvement Review Committee began meeting this year, and found itself reviewing the same requests that it had for many years, I determined that it was appropriate to present, for Council discussion, debate and, eventual approval, a true Five Year Capital Improvement Program which balanced the needs of the various agencies, which gave agencies notice of he likelihood of a particular project being considered, and gave notice of the likely time when such a project might occur.

Having embarked on this task, it soon became extremely apparent why we had not followed this practice in the past. Being constantly mindful o four borrowing limitations and desire to control the impact of debt service on future taxes, the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee met numerous times to discuss and debate the needs and wants of city agencies. In reaching the recommendations enclosed herein, we were mindful of the need to balance the various geographic areas of the city, the various agencies, and the overall demands on Capital Budget resources anticipated in the foreseeable future.

In looking to develop a realistic Five Year Capital Improvement Program, the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee and I looked at information and materials available regarding existing facilities and those which might be needed as the city grew towards its projected boundaries. We anticipate an eventual need for at least two additional police stations, three additional fire stations, an expanded public works facility on the .west side, upgrades to existing public works facilities on the east side and south side, and improvements to Parks Division facilities at Franklin Field, Summit, and Sycamore. Upgrades to two branch libraries, and the Central Library, and construction of two additional branch libraries are also needed to complete current plans. These anticipated needs are, of course, in addition to the ongoing requirements to maintain existing facilities. The projections into the future are not, of course, limited to the construction of new buildings. We must continue programs to upgrade, repair and replace roadways, sidewalks, computers, vehicles, and all other items attendant to providing the highest possible degree of services to the residents of our city.

Development of the proposed Capital Improvement Program was a difficult exercise. It is unlikely that in our first attempt to prioritize projects more than one year ahead of authorization, we have made all of the correct decisions, or that all projects will eventually be completed in accordance with the schedule indicated herein. The document is intended, however, to provide a realistic picture and guideline of projects planned for the future and which, hopefully, will be completed on a schedule which comes at least close to the one indicated.

As a result of this year's experiences, I will be taking a close look at the structure of the Long Range Facilities Planning Committee and Capital Improvement Review Committee and plan to create a new structure which will provide a better means of developing capital budgets which reflect the needs of the community now and into the future.

I am pleased to present the attached document and look forward to Council discussion regarding recommendations for 2001 and beyond.