The preparation and adoption of a Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) is an important part of a municipality’s financial planning and budgeting process. The purpose of the plan is to recognize and resolve deficiencies in existing public facilities and anticipate and meet future demand for capital facilities and the replacement of vehicles and equipment. A plan typically includes all of the anticipated capital expenditures of a town/city, library and school district for the next six-year period.
Although it is a tool many larger communities have been using for years, a capital improvements program (CIP) can be useful and valuable for even very small communities. Essentially, it is a prioritized list of anticipated large expenses. The threshold of what a “large expense” is and the details of what is needed may vary from municipality to municipality, but the process, the governing law and its usefulness are the same across the state.