Capital Improvements Program
Capital Projects- Investing in Your Priorities
The adopted Five Year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) totals $157.08 million, with $28.3 million in projects funded in FY19. For the 2019-2023 period, the CIP focuses on drainage, streets, Public Safety Training and EMS/Fire needs, and facilities – such as an Emergency Operations Center/ Dispatch Center and animal shelter, as well as replacement of the City’s aging Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System.
2019-2023 CIP: $157.08 Million
Specific CIP examples include:
- Feeling safe while living, working, and playing is the cornerstone of Sugar Land’s quality of life, the CIP funds the design and construction of the Emergency Operations Center(EOC)/Dispatch Center, with design planned in FY19. Also included is funding for innovative training and equipment enhancements in the Fire/EMS Department. This includes permanent improvements to the City's Public Safety Training Facility and laboratory equipment to train paramedics and first responders in providing critical fire response and care to EMS patients. Additionally, the budget identifies funding for investments in equipment upgrades, such as replacing a portion of the Department’s bunker gear, as well as a ladder truck.
- Sugar Land is a strong steward of public dollars, which requires continued reinvestment into facilities. As such, the budget includes funding for major rehabilitation projects at various city facilities, including the replacement of roofs and other major projects that will extend the useful life of these important assets.
- Accountability and transparency have never been more important, and the budget funds the replacement of the City’s aging Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which is built on technology that is well over 25 years old. ERP systems integrate the financial, transactional and accountability functions of the organization into one cohesive application – providing efficiency and continuity of information, as well as an avenue in which the City can provide increased transparency and through which citizens can interact with their government.
- Recognizing the importance of being responsive to fixing infrastructure deficiencies that impact residents’ lives – and with the recent experience with the torrential rains associated with Hurricane Harvey, the City funded several drainage studies in FY18 that looked at how drainage in the City could be further improved. These studies are just one way the City is committed to protecting residents and their property. As a result of those studies and the City’s continued commitment to aggressively investing in improvements to protect you and your property, the FY19 budget and five-year Capital Improvement program includes more than $43 million for drainage projects – exceeding the $35 million invested in drainage over the previous five years. As part of the overall process, the drainage projects have been prioritized and synchronized with other projects to ensure they will have the most meaningful impact and are completed as efficiently as possible.
- For a look at how these projects were prioritized, please see the Drainage project ranking done by Engineering in preparation for the FY19-23 CIP recommendation.
Mobility (Streets & Traffic)
- Mobility improvements are a priority of Sugar Land residents– and the City is committed to a multi-faceted approach through capital projects and cutting-edge technology to reduce the amount of time residents spend in their cars. As such, the FY19 CIP includes construction of a Triple Left Turn on State Highway 6 northbound at US 59 funded through revenues received from the Safe Light Sugar Land program.
Capital Funding Strategies: Bonds
Why does the City issue debt for capital projects? Used only when needed capital projects cannot be funded prudently from current revenues or fund balances, this method of financing also helps to ensure inter-generational equity by spreading payments for assets and infrastructure over their useful lives - similar to taking out a mortgage to purchase a home you intend to live in for a long time.
This means that residents today are not responsible for paying for the full cost of a project that will continue to benefit future residents decades in the future. Overall, the City’s financial success – including a AAA bond rating –and aggressive repayment schedules benefit residents by ensuring our tax dollars can go farther by borrowing funds at the lowest possible interest rates as we complete public infrastructure projects to protect the high-quality of life important to Sugar Land residents.
In this video from the summer of 2018, City Manager Allen Bogard and Director of Finance Jennifer Brown discuss the City's strategies to fund capital improvements and why the City issues bonds.
The City plans capital projects to fit within available financial capacity from various funding sources, such as bond issues and pay-as-you-go funding from donations, grants and restricted funding sources.
Projects included in the Five Year CIP have been prioritized and placed in an order that allows the work to build upon itself. For example: to do improve drainage we have to build the water storage and conveyance capacity first before we can do work at the street level to the storm drains. Projects are usually multi-year and funded in phases.
As engineering studies are completed, projects are developed, added in and re-prioritized based on the latest information available. Projects in years two through five of the CIP are for planning purposes only; project timing and amounts are subject to change as more information becomes available. The only budgeted funding is in year one.