Council to review CIP

Published 8:07 pm Saturday, March 24, 2012

Washington’s City Council is scheduled to review the city’s 2013-2017 Capital Improvement Plan during its meeting Monday.

Some capital projects would be paid for and completed within one fiscal year, while others would be paid for and completed during two or more fiscal years, according to a working copy of the CIP. Several projects extend beyond the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Projects would be paid for with money from several sources, including city money, grants and loans.

The plan’s projects would cost an estimated $49.3 million if all of them were completed, according to the working copy of the CIP.

The council wants to review the CIP before it begins developing the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget, which takes effect July 1. For several years, the council has followed a policy requiring a CIP item included in a specific fiscal year’s budget to be a part of the city’s CIP before it is considered for funding in that specific fiscal year’s budget. In the event of an emergency, the council may waive that requirement.

Of the proposed $49.3 million in CIP projects, $15.88 million are associated with Washington Electric Utilities. Its projects include the rebuilding of circuits, substation improvements (including three, each with a $1.8 million cost), downtown electrical improvements ($1.2 million) and several vehicle replacements.

Proposed improvements related to day-to-day operations of city government carry a $12.6 million price tag, according to the CIP. Those projects would occur within the city’s public-safety, streets, stormwater, facilities, administration and cultural/leisure areas.

The CIP calls for spending $3.4 million to rehabilitate City Hall and $150,000 on the decking at the Washington Civic Center. During fiscal years 2012-2013 through 2016-2017, the CIP calls for spending $2.1 million on public-safety vehicles.

The review will be the second close look at proposed CIP projects and related expenses by the council in a little more than a year. In early March 2011, it conducted a similar review. During that review, the council made it clear that projects included in the CIP would be carefully analyzed to determine which ones had to be implemented and which ones could be deferred. Facing some uncertainties regarding revenues for the upcoming fiscal year, look for this year’s CIP review to do the same.

Deferring projects scheduled for implementation in the 2012-2013 fiscal year means the city won’t have to come up with the money needed to pay for those projects that fiscal year, thereby helping reduce the city’s expenditures for that fiscal year.

The Washington City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. The council’s entire agenda may be obtained by visiting the city’s website at


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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