What Is CIP?
A capital improvement project is defined as any new building, equipment, additions to existing structures, purchase of structures, the purchase of land in conjunction with new or existing structures, and road and bridge projects that would normally have a life of at least ten (10) years and a initial cost of greater than $50,000.
There are many features that distinguish Citrus County’s operating budget from the capital budget. The operating budget includes expenses that are generally of a recurring nature and are appropriated annually. It provides for the provision of all County services, but does not result in physical assets for the County. Annual changes in the operating budget are expected to be fairly stable and represent incremental changes in the cost of doing business. Taxes, user fees, and other inter-governmental revenues, that generally recur annually, provide resources for the operating budget.
The capital budget includes non-recurring capital expenditures for projects that may last several years. The projects result in physical assets in the County. Bond or loan proceeds, impact fees, grants, and taxes generally provide resources for the capital budget. In spite of these differences, the operating and capital budgets are closely linked. The operating budget assumes the cost of maintaining and operating new facilities that are constructed under the capital budget, including debt service on these facilities.
The CIP serves as a planning guide for the construction of general purpose and public utility facilities in the County. The CIP process provides a framework for development of reliable capital expenditure and revenue estimates and the timely scheduling of bond/loan issuance. The CIP is designed to balance the need for public facilities as expressed by the Citrus County Comprehensive Plan. A comprehensive plan is a written document that identifies the goals, objectives, principles, guidelines, policies, standards, and strategies for the growth and development of the community.
Capital Improvement Element
The CIE is the element of the Comprehensive Plan that outlines the capital needs of the community as it relates to infrastructure needs and adopted level of service. It is updated annually and is sent to the State of Florida Department of Community Affairs for approval. Only projects that either increase or maintain level of service standards are included in the CIE. The CIE must have committed funding sources that are available immediately to fund CIP projects. These sources include ad valorem taxes, gas taxes, approved bonds, state and federal funds, impact fees, water/wastewater connection fees and enforceable developer agreements. Florida Statute chapter 163 requires counties to track the capacity of its public facilities.
Capital Operational Impact
The capital and operating budgets affect each other in a number of ways. The amount of debt that can be supported by the operating budget helps determine the amount of the bonds that can be issued in any given fiscal year. Operating budget resources, as governed by the County's revenue and by its budget stability and debt management policies, determine the level and composition of the County's capital budget. The County's debt policy contains guidelines to help the County stay within a sound fiscal framework despite year-to-year variations in the amount of resources available for debt service.
Capital budget decisions affect the operating budget in several ways. First and foremost is the amount of operating budget revenue that must be used to provide for debt service payments on any debt issued to fund capital projects.
A second impact the capital budget has on the operating budget consists of the operating and maintenance costs associated with the completed facilities. The greatest operating impacts occur with a new facility, such as the opening of a new park. In such instances, costs relating to new maintenance and support staff and additional operating and utility expenses must all be included in the operating budget.
Other types of capital projects may have a relatively small impact on the operating budget. Renovations rarely increase operating costs much, if at all. Road, storm drainage, and other infrastructure projects do not normally result in the need for additional costs. However, when such projects reach a critical mass, additional maintenance staff will be needed, and at some point in the future, resurfacing and other expensive maintenance activities will be required.
Capital expenditures can also have positive impacts on the operating budget. For instance, infrastructure maintenance funded through the capital budget can result in substantial operating budget savings. An example is the resurfacing of roads using capital budget funds, which usually reduces the need for temporary repairs of potholes and other maintenance funded from the operating budget. Likewise, the renovation of an old facility will usually result in lower maintenance costs for that facility. New construction can also serve to reduce operating expenses if the new facility results in less need for rented or leased space.
Operational impacts included in the Capital Improvement Program. These operational impacts include projected operating expenditures for the Utility emergency generators, fire hydrants and master lift station improvements.
A detailed capital project listing is contained in the Citrus County Capital Improvement Program document, published separately.