CIPSt. John’s City Council approved its first ever 10-year Capital Plan today. A Capital Improvement Plan, aka a “CIP,” is a short-range plan of up to 10 years, that is meant help a municipality best identify potential capital projects and the equipment purchases, planning, scheduling, and financing options required for these plans.

In a nutshell, a CIP allows for a systematic evaluation of all potential projects in St. John’s, at the same time, and improves the ability to consolidate projects to reduce costs.

A CIP ought to reveal things like: a listing of the capital projects or equipment to be purchased; The projects ranked in order of preference; The plan for financing the projects; A timetable for the construction or completion of the project; Justification for the project and/or an explanation of expenses for the project. Only about 20% of the projects in the plan have been funded; the city will need to identify cost-sharing partnerships to green light the remaining 80%.

78% of our 10-year capital plan will be allotted to “roads and bridges, water and sewer,” totalling $805,800,000. This will include the major overhaul of water and sewer plumbing beneath Water Street downtown, starting in 2016.

11% of the 10-year capital plan will be allotted to Parks & Recreation, totalling $112,300,000. One of the project appears to be an ice track at Bowring Park, as well as upgrades to its poolhouse. There are plans for Victoria Park revitalization, a “Kenmount Park” and about 40 million for a “Wedgewood Recreation Facility.”

City Buildings will receive the third biggest allocation – 9%, or $88,500,000. This includes 200 million for secondary treatment facilities at the existing Riverhead Wastewater Treatment Plant, 63 million for St. John’s Convention Centre, as well as money for updating some fire stations.

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe says he likes the idea of “budgeting with a longer-term focus,” and that he looks forward to hearing from residents on “their priorities for the next three-year budget.”