Sep 27th 2017 | Posted in State by Kristin Gordon

There are many different kinds, or classes, of government units with an annual budget, including counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, fire districts, hospital districts and other special districts. All of them have deadlines for their balanced, fiscal year budget that will outline revenue and spending categories and totals for the various funds. A budget contains several important parts, and one worth noting is the budget for capital improvements. The timeframe for these improvements can be within a year or part of a multi-year plan. It’s a great resource for information on upcoming projects and funding that is available.   

In Florida, Orange County School Board members authorized the adoption of the 2018 budget intended to keep the district operating smoothly for the following fiscal year. The $2.1 billion operating budget includes projected expenditures of $2 million on the addition of rubberized tracks at high schools over the next four years, $102.2 million for the expansion of the digital curriculum program, $65.2 million for the purchase of land for future schools, $25.1 million for school bus replacements over the next 10 years, $22.2 million for the moving and leasing of portables and $6.4 million on capital funding for charter schools. 

In Pennsylvania, the city of Pittsburgh submitted a $555 million operating budget and $105 million capital spending plan to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA), the city’s state financial overseer. Capital projects include $16 million for repaving 65 miles of city streets, $2.25 million for surveillance cameras, $5 million on equipment and vehicles, $2.6 million on transportation improvements and $4 million to reconstruct Smallman Street, which runs through Downtown and the Strip District. Pittsburgh met Friday’s state-mandated deadline to submit the budgets to the ICA. The authority’s board of directors has 30 days to review and vote on the plans, which then go to council for approval before the year’s end. 

In Tennessee, the Chattanooga City Council has approved a new five-year capital projects budget with $473 million in spending, including $1 million for a new African exhibit at the Chattanooga Zoo. An Alton Park Riverwalk Connector is included at $1.2 million. It is to go along an old railroad bed across Broad Street and under South Market. Cleanup of the old Lupton City mill site is $1.5 million. There is $400,000 for the Holmberg Bridge Replacement and $12.9 million for work on the Walnut Street Bridge. 

worker 2633918 960 720 Approved budget for capital improvements provides future opportunities for contractorsSpending includes $7.5 million for improvements on the Third and Fourth Street Corridor and $1 million at Patten Parkway, along with $3 million for a Patten Parkway detention facility. There is $16.1 million for a blower replacement at the Moccasin Bend Sewage Treatment Plant, $11 million for South Chickamauga Creek rehab and $10 million for South Chickamauga Creek storage. The budget has $40 million for three wet weather storage projects. 

In Mississippi, Hattiesburg City Council members voted to approve a $125.4 million budget for the new fiscal year. Economic development projects include $2.1 million for infrastructure updates for roads, water and sewer for a mortgage operations project, which will be located in Lamar County at Lincoln Road and Lamar Boulevard. Nearly $900,000 for drainage, sewer and road infrastructure for the Midtown project. Public safety received a boost with money allocated for a new fire station on United States 49 North and around $800,000 will be set aside for a new police station and municipal court facility.  

In Texas, Travis County commissioners adopted a $1.05 billion budget along with a property tax rate of 36.90 cents per $100 of taxable home value.  The budget includes funding for capital improvement projects such a road safety projects and pre-construction costs for a new female jail facility that aims to provide more appropriate housing for female inmates. The budget also calls for a 2 percent salary increase for full-time county employees and peace officers, as well as additional dollars for core services such as elections, inmate housing and legally mandated indigent defense, improvements to the Arkansas Bend Park and staffing for the new civil district court. 

The budget for capital improvements is frequently available on the municipality’s website. In other cases, it may be necessary to obtain a copy from the clerk or other official of the municipality. The budget is a public document and should be available in some form, either free or for a small charge. 

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