Meeting City Infrastructure and Public Improvement Needs

By Vogt, A. John | Nation's Cities Weekly, May 9, 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Meeting City Infrastructure and Public Improvement Needs


Vogt, A. John, Nation's Cities Weekly


Decisions to provide infrastructure and capital facilities for a community are often the most critical and difficult ones that local elected officials face. These decisions can determine whether or not a community grows, shape its most basic features, require the raising and spending of huge sums of money and draw intense public scrutiny and debate.

An article in Public Budgeting and Finance by Susan A. McManus states that a recent study of Florida cities where incumbents lost elections suggests that infrastructure decisions and related financing issues "are now more likely to result in an incumbent's defeat than taxes and services." This was the case in both fast and slower growing communities and was more pronounced in the larger cities that were part of the study.

Depending on a city's needs, size and goals, infrastructure and capital project decisions can involve sports arenas, convention centers, highway and street improvements, public transit equipment and facilities, water and sewer infrastructure, cultural and recreational facilities, technology for public safety and other services and the infrastructure and incentives needed for economic development.

The replacement or rehabilitation of older infrastructure and facilities is becoming just as important and as expensive as building the new capital projects to meet or spur growth.

City officials need strategies and systems for capital planning, budgeting and finance to meet the challenges of providing the infrastructure and public facilities needed by a community.

These strategies must concentrate on the largest or most expensive capital needs, address a multi-year or long-term time horizon, encompass planning and implementation as well as finance, and consider not only capital costs of projects but also their life cycle costs and impact on the future operating budgets.

A full-fledged and effective capital planning, budget, and finance process involves:

* Board approved and administrative policies to guide capital planning, budgeting and finance.

* Capital asset management systems that inventory and assess the condition of existing infrastructure, facilities and equipment.

* Strategic or comprehensive planning to identify new infrastructure to accommodate or spur growth.

* Multiyear capital improvement programming (CIP) and financial forecasting, usually extending five years or more into the future.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Meeting City Infrastructure and Public Improvement Needs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?