The FY 2013 - 2017 CIP represents an update to the first-ever, fully-funded five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the City of Livingston. Most Capital Improvement Plans focus only on facilities, construction projects and infrastructure needs, which are either beyond the government’s ability to pay or are dependent upon politically-charged voter approved bond issues, special districts, loans, or grants. As a result, most Capital Improvement Plans simply review the government’s “wish lists” and end up on the shelf gathering dust.
In contrast, this Capital Improvement Plan includes all capital purchases of $5,000 or more. Thus, this CIP is operational in nature. The intention of this CIP is to provide a “blueprint” of the city’s capital spending for the next five years. This CIP includes a 5-year historical financial analysis as well as a 5-year financial forecast for all funds which have capital expenditure implications. The historical financial analysis and financial projections enabled the capital needs of the city to be reconciled with the city’s financial capabilities.
The City of Livingston will no longer find itself simply reacting to capital requests on a year by year basis, but will actually find itself being proactive in its annual budgeting process for its capital expenditure needs. This CIP will have an added benefit of providing a “jump start” to the annual budgeting process, as financial projections have already been made. These projections will obviously have to be updated and refined as years progress. However, the CIP projections will provide a yard-stick by which to gauge the development of future annual budgets. Finally, the CIP will result in all of the players in the budget process to begin looking long-term with respect not only to their capital needs, but to the overall financial health and condition of all city funds.