Focusing on continued investment in neighborhoods, City Council held the first reading on the City’s proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at its formal meeting this afternoon. The CIP is a planning tool used to identify needed capital projects and select the appropriate financing and timing for those projects. The CIP is prepared each year based on priorities identified at the City Council retreat and input from various City departments. The first year of the plan serves as the coming year’s capital budget. The subsequent years of the plan are planning years and subject to annual appropriation by City Council.
The proposed FY2019-20 CIP budget of $31,875,185 is divided into four funding categories:
- Neighborhood Investment and Infrastructure ($18,510,000) – projects that produce a physical asset that allows the City to function as an organization and community. Examples include street resurfacing, sewer rehabilitation, stormwater improvements and parking equipment.
- Economic Development ($5,776,634) – projects that are primarily intended to attract new businesses or support the vitality of existing businesses. Examples include investments in commercial corridors, public improvements around Fluor Field and the operation of the Greenville Convention Center.
- Public Safety ($3,892,473) – projects that provide facilities and/or equipment to provide and enhance the City’s police and fire protection.
- Parks & Recreation ($3,696,078) – projects that specifically benefit public parks and other facilities that provide for recreational activities. Examples include the Neighborhood Park Program, Unity Park and greenways and trails.
Funding for the CIP is derived from multiple revenue sources:
- Utility/Parking Funds ($13,325,000) – revenues generated by a business-type activity, such as sewer and stormwater fees. These funds must be spent primarily on the activity that generates the revenue. For example, sewer fee revenue can be spent on sewer rehabilitation projects.
- General Fund ($8,457,298) – revenues generated from property taxes, business licenses and other general-purpose revenue that can be spent on any governmental use (streets, sidewalks, police, fire, parks, etc.) Example projects include street resurfacing, NSTEP (new sidewalks), fire station replacement and traffic signal communication upgrades.
- Tourism Funds ($5,645,000) – revenues generated by a restricted source, such as hospitality tax (prepared meals) and accommodations taxes (overnight lodging). These funds must be spent on projects related to tourism and visitors. Example projects include S.C. Children’s Theatre, Swamp Rabbit Trail and Unity Park.
- TIF Funds ($3,747,887) – property tax revenues generated from specific areas of the City (CBD, West End, Viola Street area) that were previously restricted for use in those areas. These funds now primarily support investments in economic development and public-private partnerships.
- Capital Projects Fund ($700,000) – savings from completed projects and interest earnings on idle funds. Because this source is uncertain, these funds should be spent on one-time, unusual projects.
Below are funding highlights for the Infrastructure category, with sources including Utility/Parking Funds, General Fund, Tourism Funds and TIF Funds:
- $6.57 million for stormwater improvements to address water quality and prevent flooding
- $3.95 million for equipment and improvements to make parking facilities more user-friendly
- $2.8 million for sewer rehabilitation projects to keep up with growth inside the city
- $1 million for street resurfacing of neighborhood streets
- $1 million for the construction of new neighborhood sidewalks
- $400,000 for intersection safety improvements
Below are funding highlights for the Economic Development category, with sources including General Funds, Tourism Funds and TIF Funds:
- $1.1 million for public improvements around Fluor Field
- $500,000 in continued funding for commercial corridor improvements to promote economic growth throughout the city
- $300,000 for the S.C. Children’s Theatre
Below are funding highlights for the Public Safety category, funded primarily from the General Fund
- $1.4 million for Stone Avenue fire station replacement and improvements to existing stations
- $1.3 million for equipment to enhance safety for police and fire personnel and the public, including body cameras, radios and downtown camera system
- $800,000 to lease/upfit new office space for the Police Department
Below are funding highlights for the Parks & Recreation category, with sources including General Fund, Tourism Funds and TIF Funds:
- $2 million in continued funding for the construction of Unity Park
- $1 million for greenways and trails, for projects such as the Laurel Creek Trail and connecting the Swamp Rabbit Trail extension with Cleveland Park
- $500,000 in continued funding for the Neighborhood Park Program, providing ongoing maintenance and new amenities for neighborhood parks
The CIP also includes in excess of $5,000,000 over the next five years from the General Fund to finance the preservation and production of affordable housing and acquire land for future affordable housing opportunities.
Second reading and adoption of the proposed CIP are scheduled for Monday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the formal meeting of City Council.