Feb. 11th I attended my first Capital Projects Committee meeting. This committee is not a BOA committee but a committee established by City Charter, Section 78. I was elected by my colleagues to be one of the BOA's two representatives along with Alderwoman DePino (18-R). The other members include the City's Controller, City Planner, and Mayoral appointments of City residents and a member from the City Planning Commission. Chairman of this committee, resident, Zelly Goldberg, presided over this meeting where City department heads and representatives testified to their capital project requests to be included in the Capital Projects section of the Mayor's Proposed FY 2011 Budget. The committee heard details for all of these requests and asked many questions and made requests for additional information. Requests came from the following 16 City departments: Building, IT, Assessors, Community Services, Airport, Library, Parks, DPW, Engineering, Economic, Police, TT&P, Fire, City Plan, LCI, and NHPS.
According to previous submitted and approved City budgets, capital budget is primarily used to finance improvements with an average life of five or more years as well as large-scale permanent improvements. Also included are regular capital improvement programs for the maintenance of City streets, sewers, parks, and major equipment (mowers, fire trucks, etc.). Funding comes from the City's general obligation bonds/notes and State and Federal grants. The City's bonding limits are set forth in State Statute and vary by category.
These department requests and supporting justifications are gathered by this committee and forwarded to the Mayor by Feb. 15th for inclusion in the Mayor's Proposed Budget that is due to the Board of Aldermen by March 1st. The BOA will hold public hearings and further evaluate the Capital Budget requests in context with the entire Proposed Budget in committee meetings and as a whole. The Capital Projects Committee did send these requests on to the Mayor, and as a member of the committee I have lots of information I can now share with my colleagues as the City's entire FY2011 budget is considered over the next few months.
As usual, this is but a brief summary of this 3 hour meeting and references lots of documentation I have and is available to all. If anyone would like to chat more about and/or look over these many requests totaling $46 million ($19 million of which is for the last four school reconstruction projects), please call me.