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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

International City and County Management Association (ICMA)
Leadership ICMA Class of 2012

Capital Project Prioritization

Table of Contents
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..........................................................................3
INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................4
Who We Are .......................................................................................... 4
Scope of Project .................................................................................... 5
Methodology ......................................................................................... 5
Limitations............................................................................................ 5
Overview of Peer Cities and Professional Organizations ........................ 6
TIMELINE ............................................................................................7
Best Practices and Peer Research .......................................................... 7
Recommendations ................................................................................ 8
PREPARATION OF PROJECTS ............................................................... 12
Best Practices and Peer Research ........................................................12
Recommendations ..............................................................................13
EVALUATION OF PROJECTS ................................................................ 15
Best Practices and Peer Research ........................................................15
Recommendations ..............................................................................18
OTHER FINDINGS ON TECHNOLOGY ASSETS ........................................ 20
Best Practices and Peer Research ........................................................20
Recommendations ..............................................................................21
CONCLUSION.................................................................................... 22
REFERENCES ..................................................................................... 24
APPENDICES ..................................................................................... 27
A Timeline Research .........................................................................27
B Definitions of Renewal and Growth................................................30

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C Tacoma Comprehensive Plan Questions ........................................31

D Austin CIP Prioritization Questionnaire .........................................32
E Ft. Lauderdale Memo to Council on Matrix ....................................33

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The Leadership ICMA Team (LICMA Team) assigned to this project was tasked with examining the capital
project prioritization process in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and recommending potential process
improvements. This task was approached through an on-site visit to Edmonton to document the current
CIP process along with peer city and professional association research focused on isolating best practices
and recommended improvements.
The LICMA Teams research and eventual recommendations are focused on three key areas involved with
the CIP process. They are Timeline, Preparation of Projects, and Evaluation of Projects. These areas
encompass the major steps included in Edmontons CIP process and allow for a step by step analysis of
recommended process improvements.
The LICMA Team found through its research that Edmonton is currently a leader in CIP process as defined
by industry best practices and among the peer cities identified through the project research. This
leadership in CIP process is highlighted by several key strengths that were identified by the capital staff in
Edmonton and endorsed by the LICMA Team. These strengths include: a high acumen at identifying capital
needs, an unbiased approach to decision making, a strong willingness to look at how capital project
planning fits into the big picture, an experienced and dedicated staff, and strong corporate level review.
However, despite these strengths, Edmonton encountered challenges as it attempted to update its process
during the last planning cycle. These challenges are normal for any organization as it attempts to change
process, and the recommendations of the LICMA Team are aimed at addressing these challenges.
The first challenge identified during the research was that of improving Council input and participation in
the capital process to better understand their priorities and challenges in regard to capital budgeting and
capital projects. The LICMA Team is recommending an amended timeline for the CIP process which
includes earlier discussion with the City Council in order to gain their input and perspective. In addition,
the team is also recommending that these earlier discussions with the City Council include a process of
completing a weighted scoring matrix of strategic vision priorities.
The next challenge facing Edmonton is balancing the effectiveness of capital project business cases with the
staff time dedicated to preparing them. The LICMA Teams recommendation to address this challenge
focuses on limiting the amount of content that can be included in each topic area, standardizing the
business case summary sheet, and including a checklist of criteria within the business case that correlate
with the Citys comprehensive planning and strategic visioning efforts.
Another major challenge addressed by the LICMA Team is the size and makeup of the CPPC. In its current
form, the CPPC can be viewed as large and somewhat amorphous, and this condition leads to a dilution of
the process. The LICMA Team recommends either reducing the membership of the CPPC or breaking it into
two groups that can act as two filter stages for the projects.
Overall, the LICMA Team believes that Edmontons CIP team and process is currently operating at a very
high level and is very effective. Other communities can, and do, currently view Edmonton as a model for
CIP process and planning. However, by considering the implementation of the recommendations that are

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included in this report, the LICMA Team feels that Edmonton can further advance the effectiveness of their
already rigorous and successful process.

Who We Are
Leadership ICMA (LICMA) is a two-year development program for early career local government
professionals. The program covers leadership philosophy, personal integrity, high-performance
organization management models, team-building, strategic planning, and project management. The
final phase of the program consists of consulting for a local government organization with a real-world
Leigh Byford is the Team Lead/Project Contact. She graduated with a Master of Public Affairs from the
Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas. She manages more than $400 million in
operating budgets and associated performance measures for the Police Department, Parks and
Recreation, and Communication and Technology Management Department for the City of Austin, TX.
Leigh also coordinates all public engagement and outreach on the operating budget. Leigh brings
strong organizational and analytical skills to the team.
E.A. Hoppe currently serves as the Assistant Director of Community Services in Richardson, TX, a
community of nearly 100,000 in the greater Dallas/Ft. Worth region. Functional areas for the
department include redevelopment and revitalization initiatives, code enforcement, building
inspection, and environmental sustainability. E.A. attained a Master of Public Administration degree
from the University of North Texas and a Baccalaureate from Austin College (Sherman, TX) in Business
and Finance. E.A. brings structural and analytical skills to the project team.
Rolando Fernandez serves as the Assistant Director for the Contract Management Department in the
City of Austin, TX, which is responsible for administering the procurement of professional and
construction services and executing and managing contracts essential for the delivery of efficient
capital improvements while complying with all City and Texas State statutes and policies. Rolando
earned his Master of Public Administration from the St. Marys University and has six years in local
government experience. Rolando brings to the team nearly two years in Capital Improvement Projects
procurement, contracting, and implementation and nearly fourteen years of project management
Adam Chapdelaine currently serves as the Town Manager of Arlington, MA, a town of 42,000 people,
approximately 10 miles north of Boston. He has earned his M.B.A. from Suffolk University and has
served in various governmental positions for the past nine years. Adam brings a combination of
analytical ability and organizational problem solving to the team.

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Scope of Project
The LICMA Edmonton Capital Projects Team was tasked with evaluating Edmontons framework for
prioritizing capital projects, conducting research on best practices and emerging trends, and
proposing recommendations to Edmonton for improving their process. After visiting Edmonton, the
scope was refined to:

Create an outline providing the recommended structure for the initial discussions between the
Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) and Capital Projects Planning Committee (CPPC), including
the overall level of funding, the corporate, Council and departmental priorities, and the
communication strategies and timeline with Council.

Develop/recommend a timeline for a multi-year CIP with a rolling Progress Update Program to
the City Council, allowing for reasonable deadlines and process flow.

Assist with the initial messaging (transmittal letter/kick-off event) from the CLT to the CPPC by
helping to develop:
Revised Business Case and scoring templates streamline to reduce strain on
staff resources
Enhanced definitions of growth, renewal, and functionality also providing
guidelines on to how to differentiate between them
Assist with guidance to Branch Managers on how to incorporate Council and CLT
perspective (The Ways) into initial prioritization documentation.

Assist with developing recommendations for the structure and membership of the CPPC as well
as their function in the prioritization process.

The LICMA Team performed an on-site assessment of the Edmonton capital planning process using
facilitated group discussions with the CLT and CPPC and documented existing conditions and
strategies being utilized. Following this assessment, the LICMA team began research on a number of
peer cities in Canada and the United States to isolate best practices and trends in capital project
The team also investigated practices recommended by several professional
organizations. This combined research resulted in the teams findings, which are contained within this
report, as well as their recommendations for Edmontons process.

While conducting the research for this project, several limitations became clear. First, there are no
clearly defined best practices for balancing renewal projects versus growth projects. Second, while
scoring matrices and risk models provide valuable information for decision makers, these tools are no
substitute for local knowledge and experience about specific asset categories or the public desires for

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service levels. Third, Edmonton became interested in exploring specific challenges with information
technology capital planning, but a detailed analysis is outside the scope of this project. These
limitations are addressed further in later sections of the report.

Overview of Peer Cities and Professional Organizations

The table below shows the eleven North American cities the team chose as peers for Edmonton. Using
each citys online capital planning information and seeking opportunities for personal contact to
answer a set of survey questions, the team collected information about each city.


CIP Budget

Austin, TX



Baltimore, MD



Boston, MA



Calgary, AB


$6.02B (5yrs)

Edmonton, AB

812, 200

$2.8B (3yrs)

Fort Lauderdale, FL



Greensboro, NC



Milwaukee, WI



Phoenix, AZ



San Jose, CA


$2.4B (5yrs)

Tacoma, WA


$1.6B (5yrs)

Winnipeg, MB


$2.6B (5yrs)

The team also reviewed books, articles and case studies by several professional organizations the
International City/County Management Association, the Government Finance Officers Association, and
the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and National Research Council.
The remainder of this report is divided into sections on timeline of the capital planning process,
preparation of projects at the department level, evaluation of projects at the corporate level, and other
findings. Appendices and a list of references are included after the conclusion.

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Best Practices and Peer Research
A Capital Improvement Plan (Program), or CIP, is a short-range plan, usually four to ten years, which
allows municipalities to plan for, implement, and sustain capital projects. A well managed CIP
program provides numerous benefits to include:

Systematic evaluation of all potential projects at the same time.

Ability to stabilize debt and consolidate projects to reduce borrowing costs.
A focus on preserving a governmental entity's infrastructure while ensuring the efficient use of
public funds.
An opportunity to promote collaboration amongst departments.

Local governments should prepare comprehensive multi-year capital plans to ensure adequate longterm management of assets. At minimum, a plan should cover three years, but preferably covers five
or more.3 The GFOA espouses that city staff, executive leadership, and the governing body review the
status of projects in the capital budget periodically, although it does not specify how often. Reports
should include whether the project is on budget, on schedule, has been modified for changes in service
level, and any other major changes.12 It is generally recommended that cities begin reviewing potential
capital projects up to a year in advance of the budget allocation for thorough vetting and to avoid the
last minute cancellation of projects that were not carefully evaluated.
Edmontons CIP process currently encompasses a three year period and each CIP fiscal year parallels
the Budget Development process that operates on the fiscal year from January to December. Noted
below are milestones of the current CIP development process:





Data collection for renewal needs.



Developed Rating Criteria focused on the Corporate Outcomes.



Develop rating criteria based on the provincial model.



Direction setting meeting with Council.



Growth Projects prioritization rating templates and renewal project listing completed
and submitted to Budget Office.



Peer Review for Growth Projects completed.



Departments/Budget Office prepares draft Capital Investment Agenda and proposed

Capital Budget projects for CLT review.

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Draft Capital Investment Agenda and Project list distributed to CLT and CPPC
members for review.


Complete Draft Business Cases for recommended projects.


Meeting with CLT to confirm the project list.


Finalize project list based on CLT direction and submit to CFO for validation with CLT


New Project Profiles are submitted to budget office for review and distribution to CLT


Finalize Capital Investment Agenda and Draft Capital Budget Documents.


Distribute Capital Investment Agenda and Capital Budget Documents to CLT and
CPPC for final comment and feedback.


Final discussion and feedback received via CLT meeting.



Prepare presentation for Council.



Information session with Council in private to review the details of the Capital
Investment Agenda and the Capital Budget.


Release of Capital Budget - Public presentation of the Capital Budget to Council.



Council Capital Budget Deliberations.



Finalize all approved Budget Documents based on Council approved budget.



The LICMA Team recommended timeline provides enhancements to what is already a very focused
and deliberate CIP development process managed by Edmonton. These enhancements respond to
input on the timeline received prior to and during our meetings with members of the Infrastructure
Team, Financial Services, the Corporate Leadership Team, and the Capital Project Planning Committee.
A review of best practice for CIP programs finds that five-year programs are most commonly found in
municipal governments within the United States and that local governments adopt a capital budget
annually in relation to the multi-year capital improvement plan. However, based on our site visit and
focused conversations with Edmonton CIP staff about the functionality and long-term approach to CIP
development and financing, we also researched municipal bond driven CIP programs. These programs
have a broader range of years with the most common being in the range of five to ten years. Municipal
bonds are securities that are issued for the purpose of financing the infrastructure needs of the issuing

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municipality such as streets, sewer and water systems, power utilities, and various other public
projects. They require a vote in general elections and must be approved by a plurality or majority of
voters, depending on the specific project in question. For example, in November 19, 2011, the City of
Vancouver held a municipal election where voters were asked to vote on whether the City could
borrow $180 million (about 25% of the $702 million Capital Plan). Voters approved the request thus
allowing the City to borrow the money. In our research we found cities like San Francisco, California,
who addresses CIP through a ten-year bond supported capital plan. The City received voter approval
for its FY 2012-2021 of $24.8 billion in funding across all service areas and departments.
Based on our research findings, the LICMA Team believes the City of Edmonton would benefit from
encompassing a timeline of ten years as those found in municipal bond programs but disregard the
voter approval mechanism. Edmontons scale and thorough review process of capital project planning
mirrors that of municipal bond programs, but Edmonton is not required to seek voter approval as in
the United States.
The ten-year CIP timeline would include a three-year rolling update and appropriation. During the
presentation of the three-year CIP, Edmonton should provide an update of the ongoing projects that
includes the GFOAs best practices of reporting on the budget, the schedule, and any changes to service
level. Edmontons CIP review with Council should also coincide with the review of the progress for the
Citys strategic plan, The Ways. Also, the nexus of lining capital planning with Council elections was
not mentioned in best practice research and none of the peer cities aligned their CIP with their varying
local election cycles. For practical purposes, Edmonton should arrange the dates so that consultation
with Council does not immediately come before or after an election. If the province of Alberta moves to
four year cycles for Council terms, it should not otherwise impact the CIP, especially since there will be
a three-year update with Council.
In response to the need for better communication with Council and a better understanding of their
priorities and challenges, the LICMA Team recommends a milestone earlier in the timeline that allows
for the Corporate Leadership Team to communicate with Council to determine their needs via a
process of them completing a weighted scoring matrix of strategic vision priorities. We found several of
the peer cities put Council development of priorities at the beginning of the timeline. Greensboro and
Ft. Lauderdale meet with the Council to discuss projects, criteria and financing capacity. Phoenix holds
public meetings with Council members in their district locations. Almost all of the cities incorporated
Council direction by linking the CIP to a strategic/comprehensive plan or to the Mayor or governing
bodys strategic goals.
To further enhance communication between the Corporate Leadership Team and Departments, the
LICMA Team recommends a milestone in the timeline that allows for the Corporate Leadership Team
to host a CIP Kick-off event with department level staff at the start of the CIP development process to

Timeline, including deadlines and deliverables.

Process for how projects will move from preparation to evaluation to potential adoption.

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Council and CLT perspective with focus on integrating The Way.

Brief on business case form expectations.
Defining Growth vs. Renewal projects.
The business case criteria that correlate with the Citys comprehensive planning and strategic
visioning efforts (legal requirements, safety, grant funding, master plans, etc.).

Following the CIP Kick-off event, the Corporate Leadership Team should follow-up with a Transmittal
Memo addressed to General Managers and their respective teams to echo in writing the message
delivered at the Kick-off event. In some cities, such as Austin and Baltimore, the transmittal memo
accompanies a CIP Manual with detailed direction and expectations. While a manual can take time to
develop, once it is created it can easily be updated with new details each cycle before the Kick-off
event. These steps would help ensure that Departments clearly understand the process, expectations,
and deliverables. Example manuals will be provided to Edmonton as addenda to this report.
The following revised timeline outlines the proposed milestones for Edmonton:

Year 1
Year 1
Year 1

Year 1



Year 1
Year 1

Data Collection: Establish renewal needs. Responsibility of departments and

the infrastructure team.
Assess Financial Capacity and develop a financing plan: Responsibility of
Corporate Leadership Team, Finance Office and Capital Planning Office.
Council Perspective: Corporate Leadership Team communicates with Council
to determine their priorities and challenges. Completion of prioritization
scoring matrix.
Priorities, Vision, Rating Criteria: Responsibility of Corporate Leadership
Team, Finance Office and Capital Planning Office to interpret priorities:

Year 1

Year 2

Year 2

Year 2

Year 2

Year 2

Council Priorities

Departmental vs. Corporate: How do they align with Councils priorities?

Alignment with The Ways Guidelines/Vision and strategic goals.

Modify rating criteria if necessary.

Corporate Leadership Communicates CIP Vision to Departments: Corporate
Leadership Team hosts a CIP Kick-off event and provides a follow-up
Transmittal Memo for General Managers and their respective CIP teams to
communicate important guidelines.
Departments take inventory of existing capital needs. General Managers
should prioritize their CIP based on their service delivery needs.
Consideration should be given to:
CLT Vision derived from kick-off event and transmittal memo.
Requirements for Growth.

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Complete Business Case Form for each CIP project.

Year 2
Year 2

Year 2
Year 2

Year 2

Year 2

Draft Documents: Departments/Budget Office prepares draft Capital

Investment Agenda and proposed Capital Budget projects.

Year 3

Year 3

CPPC Review and Prioritization: Draft Capital Investment Agenda and Project
list distributed to CPPC for prioritization using rating criteria.

Year 3
Year 3
Year 3

Year 3
Year 3
Year 3

Year 3

Year 3

Year 3

Year 3

Year 3

Year 3

Year 3

Year 3

All project deliverables are due to the Budget Office.

Budget Office Review: Allows for initial review Questions and Answers with
Department to ensure complete information has been submitted.

CLT Consideration: Budget Office meets with CLT to review and confirm CIP
priority list derived from CPPC.
Final CIP List: Finalize project list based on CLT direction and submit to CFO
for validation with CLT members.
Draft Documents: Finalize Capital Investment Agenda and Draft Capital
Budget Documents.
Finalize Documents: Distribute Capital Investment Agenda and Capital.
Budget Documents to CLT and CPPC for final comment and feedback. Prepare
final documents.
Council Review: Prepare presentation for Council. Information session with
Council in private to review the details of the Capital Investment Agenda and
the Capital Budget.
Council Deliberation: Capital Budget Deliberations.
Approved Documents: Finalize all approved Budget Documents based on
Council approved budget.

We believe these recommended changes to the timeline will help to alleviate communication issues
and deadline pressures that were a challenge for Edmonton in the most recent CIP development.

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Best Practices and Peer Research
Evaluation and prioritization of capital projects is inevitably necessary in organizations because the
size and volume of projects typically exceeds available resources.1 However, how projects are
evaluated and prioritized takes many forms. As part of the project submittal, ICMA recommends staff
submit a cost-benefit analysis. Some organizations may call an expanded version of this a business
case. While it may be difficult to identify all costs and benefits for public goods, a business case is still
an opportunity to vet out all aspects of a project. ICMA recommends the following five core pieces of a
business case1:

Define the service-level objectives of the project.

Identify alternatives to the project.
Identify all costs and benefits associated with each alternative.
Forecast future streams of costs and benefits over the expected useful life of the asset,
including operational costs.
5. Choose the alternative with the largest benefit in comparison with cost.
The GFOA also outlines twelve core pieces for preparing capital projects which are in line with ICMAs
core five. Additional detail includes relating the project to the citys long-term plans, developing a
timeline for the project, location and land use plans for the project, and identifying partners in the
project such as a federal source of funding or a joint venture with a nearby jurisdiction.2
Business cases range from the most rigorous mathematical formulas including discount rates, internal
rates of return, and opportunity cost, to flexible versions with a qualitative set of questions and
answers. Cost projections should include any potential assistance from partnerships, operations and
maintenance of the asset, and should anticipate costs of inflation in multi-phase projects.3,4 InfraGuide
notes this business sector practice is becoming more common in municipalities and concurs with the
ICMA on presenting several alternatives for meeting the service need and that the case should make a
recommendation.4 These cases can be more time intensive for staff and they may need training on how
to do it, but it can yield better information.4
In the LICMA Team research of peer organizations we found that most were not using business cases
as a distinct part of preparing capital projects. Austin, Ft. Lauderdale, Winnipeg, Greensboro and
Tacoma use business cases, but most are one or two pages. Typical information included project name
and other identifying information, a brief narrative description or justification, and project costs and
funding sources.
While not all using the business case method per se, Austin, Tacoma, Ft. Lauderdale, Winnipeg, Boston,
Greensboro and Phoenix include estimated operational costs of a completed project during project
preparation and when reporting to the public. According to InfraGuide, other examples of Canadian

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cities including operations and maintenance cost estimates in their project evaluation are Vancouver,
Toronto, Okotoks, and Caledon.

Edmontons business cases are quite extensive in comparison to other cities, some reaching upwards
of 50 pages with appendices. While Edmontons thorough business cases follow many of the best
practices outlined by professional organizations, the burden of staff to prepare such extensive work
and then review it at the CPPC level causes pressure on deadlines and overshadows the process.
Edmonton was also candid in revealing that some areas did not complete business cases at all. To meet
the timeline explained in the previous section and alleviate pressure on staff, the LICMA Team
recommends that Edmonton streamline the project preparation phase through several methods.
First, limit each of the twelve sections of the business case to one page maximum per section. If a
department wishes to provide additional supplemental material it can be attached as an appendix, but
the critical aspects such as description, cost, alternative plans and recommendations should be
summarized in one page or less.
Second, the Executive Summary section of the case should be standardized to briefly summarize each
of the remaining sections. The CPPC and the CLT should be able to understand the most important
aspects of the project by reading only the executive summary.
Third, the business case template should be updated to include a checklist of criteria that correlate with
the Citys comprehensive planning and strategic visioning efforts , as further described in a later section.
Department staff should be using the scoring matrix as a guideline when developing projects. The
Checklist should be very user friendly so that Department staff can easily complete the questionnaire,
with an assisting Budget Office personnel member applying the appropriate scoring matrix
prioritization, and the CPPC later verifying the correct application of scoring.
Even with robust business cases, it may not be clear which projects should be prioritized above others
due to the many and varied requests. ICMA recognizes six mainstream practices for prioritizing
capital budget requests, several of which are supported by other professional organizations. These
prioritization methods are explored later in the prioritization section.
Before moving on to the prioritization of projects, another step in preparing projects is to put them in
basic categories according to whether they are for the upkeep of existing assets or whether they
increase the asset portfolio and the operating budget obligation of the municipality.5 According to a
report by the Province of Quebecs Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, the average age of
Canadas core public infrastructure peaked in 2001 at 17 years. The report estimates that 50 percent
of Canadas infrastructure, much of which belongs to municipalities, will reach its useful life in 2027
and acknowledges that at this point, after a major economic recession, now is a critical time for Canada
to make decisions about infrastructure funding.6 Canadas InfraGuide agrees, [Municipalities require]

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inclusive renewal programs that are long term and continuous. Infrastructure renewal programs must
go beyond merely catching up, they must promote long term infrastructure sustainability.7
However, it is important for municipalities to provide infrastructure to support growth as well, for
their economies and for the quality of life of their residents. When looking across professional
organizations and studies of cities, one does not find specific recommended policies for allocating
scarce financial resources among growth or renewal projects, only a general sense that renewal should
come first, and growth can be delayed temporarily if necessary.8 It can be difficult to find balance,
especially if the total cost of projects exceeds available funding, or if a significant number of assets
need replacement at the same time.
Infrastructure condition assessments inform a renewal program. There are many types of programs
and rating scales that can help assess the condition of assets, the probability of failure, and the risk
associated with the maintenance investment of the asset. 9 An advanced asset management strategy
includes risk assessments to plan for renewal/replacement, and includes performance measures to
incorporate service level objectives.9
Edmontons Risk-based Infrastructure Management System (RIMS) model is a leading example of such
advanced asset management systems. It uses the condition of assets to predict future amounts of
reinvestment for certain condition levels and associated risk if certain levels of investment are
delayed. If the RIMS model can be incorporated into the capital planning process along with the goals
outlined in each of Edmontons five Ways, it should provide a sound set of information for which to
begin prioritizing projects with limited funding resources and to tell an overall story about the state of
local infrastructure and the impact of decisions made today on the future of the city.
Limitations on the RIMS model include addressing functionality changes or demand changes in
expected service levels. However, these kinds of changes could be linked to goals in the The Way and
thus still incorporated into scoring mechanisms.
In researching peer cities we found that few had formal definitions of projects or adopted policies on
the allocation of funding to certain types of projects in the capital improvement plans. Milwaukee and
Boston had the most robust set of definitions. (See Appendix B)
Edmontons four definitions of growth, renewal, functionality and upgrade largely encompass the
same meaning as Milwaukee and Bostons project category definitions. Additionally, Edmontons
recommended 60% renewal, 40% growth split of appropriated funding is typical of the trends we saw
among other cities. With the RIMS model, Edmonton has the best tool to provide risk-based
information to management and Council. RIMS, combined with relating The Ways into prioritized
scoring of strategic goals, will be a leading effort toward finding balance between renewal and growth.

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Best Practices and Peer Research
ICMA recognizes six mainstream practices for prioritizing capital budget requests, several of which are
supported by other professional organizations. Many Cities incorporate multiple elements of each
strategy, hybridizing their prioritization process to suit their needs.
First, experienced-based judgment, as the name implies, is based on the knowledge of small group of
city staff. This process is often used by small- and medium-sized cities and has its obvious shortcomings in not adding value to a process for numerous or complex projects, as well as not having a
full-bodied set of criteria to explain the choices to others.1 While this method is not recommended or
widely used for large cities, experience and good judgment still play a role during other prioritization
practices. Decision-making bodies of larger cities, such as Edmontons CPPC and CLT groups, still
employ experience and local knowledge when evaluating projects.
Second, the departmental service-level objectives method prioritizes projects according to their ability
to meet goals in a specific department or service area. Each service area may then be assigned a
certain allocation of dollars to stretch as far as they can down the list of projects. While this method
allows some projects to be implemented in every area, it does not support situations where the most
important projects may be concentrated in only a few areas due to reasons such as public health and
safety or serious infrastructure deficiencies. This allocation method limits the ability to meet
jurisdiction-wide goals.1 This method is commonly described as the envelope method of capital
project prioritization. The GFOA recommends that departments have the ability to initially rank
projects for their service areas, but other factors should also be applied and corporate level goals
should be utilized to ensure that the goals of the elected bodies, and thus the public, are being met.3
Third and fourth, by organizing projects according to broad categories of need and urgency of need,
there is an attempt to set criteria for high-priority projects across the organization and fund those
projects. Examples of high priority projects are those required by law, that protect public health and
safety, or that otherwise meet a top goal for the community. The GFOA also recommends prioritizing
projects with state/provincial or federal legal mandates.3 Another possible criterion is when a project
has some other financial resources available, such as federal or provincial grant funding, or private
contributions by community groups.1 In our peer research we found that other cities often utilize
outside funding assistance as a key criteria for capital project selection. However, the practice of how
this selection occurred varied greatly. Some municipalities relied more on individual departments,
typically managing their own grants and outside funding resources, to prioritize their projects to
maximize outside funding assistance. Others, using a more corporate-based decision process, used
this as just one criterion among many. Our research indicated many cities experienced resentment
from departments whose projects rarely qualified for outside funding assistance and consequently
perennially were out ranked by others that received funding from outside sources.

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Other common categories of need found in other cities include (Adapted from City of Ft. Lauderdale,
Florida: Multi-year Community Investment Plan, We Build Community):

Consistency with existing, approved plans

Promotes or accelerates sustainable economic development
Improves traffic, mobility, connectivity, pedestrian and cyclist safety
Addresses environmental concerns (GHG reduction, resource reduction,
conservation, waste reduction)
Meets Federal, Provincial or legal requirements
Meets life, safety and/or health requirements
Project feasibility
Relevant performance measures
Costs (internal source, grant funding, operating cost reduction/increase)
Extent of benefit


As mentioned earlier, using an asset management system to provide information for decision making
is a best practice, especially when gathering information for renewal projects and urgency of
replacement. These systems are most helpful for large cities, like Edmonton, with vast networks of
assets. The often intense initial effort to set it up is worth the benefit of having a comprehensive set of
information with which to inform project prioritization.4
Commonly, projects that meet urgency of need for replacing core infrastructure, whether it be a
wastewater plant or servers that house the organizations data, do not have as much tangible feeling
for Council Members or residents. Organizations prioritization systems must be able to balance
replacement projects needed to keep core services operating, with new projects that add visible
community value. Definitions and trends in balancing renewal projects versus growth projects are
explored in the preparation section of this report.
The GFOA also recommends re-evaluating capital projects approved in previous multi-year capital
plans. Urgent needs or conditions can certainly change from year to year, both operationally and
To achieve a more balanced list of priorities, many large communities use the fifth method, a weighted
rating system. In this method, each criterion is assigned a numeric weight or range of possible
minimum and maximum values. Putting together the value for each criterion then results in a totaled
score for each project used to rank the projects. 1
Canadas InfraGuide and the GFOA also recommend a weighted ranking system.4 Some attributes in a
weighted system include the consequences of failure, the opportunity to combine with other projects
(replace sewer then road), the opportunity for alternative or supplemental funding, and return on
investment. 7,5,3
Budget, planning, and finance staff usually design the system, and the county or city manager
approves it before it is used to prioritize projects for inclusion in the capital budget and CIP. In some
local governments, the governing board as well as the county or city manager approves the specific

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Capital Project Prioritization

ranking criteria and weights. In others, the governing board approves the use of the rating system but
does not review and approve the specific criteria and weights used to rank requests.1 Some version of
a staff committee is then used to review the ordered ranking of projects. It is normal for there to be
some adjustment at this juncture, as the process is not totally objective and rankings may change as
group discussion evolves.1
According to InfraGuides research, elected officials most often chose external funding source, impact
on property taxes or user fees, and economic growth as the key parameters, for prioritizing projects.
Executive management typically chose, the impact on operation and maintenance, health and safety
risks, and effective levels of service. The public considered, the impact on property taxes or user
fees, public health and safety risks, and effective levels of service. 7
Finally, using the advancement of organizational goals established by the governing board and the
community as the main criteria or one of the heaviest weighted criteria in a ranking system is also
common. Critical to the success of any formal priority system is gaining the understanding and
support of elected officials. It is the role of the city manager and finance officer to clearly articulate
how these objectives should be incorporated into the process.1,2 Using a strategic or master plan to
guide decisions is also recommended by InfraGuide and the GFOA.3,4 For instance, in Ft. Lauderdale,
Florida, the City Council ranks a mix of prioritization criteria for basic program attributes (legal
requirements, project feasibility, costs and other funding sources, performance measures, consistency
with other approved plans) and balances that with an additional weightings system involving the
impact on established strategic goals (infrastructure, environment, neighborhoods,
business/economic development, public safety).
When a weighted scoring matrix is utilized for the capital planning process, it is common for the
elected officials to review and approve the objectives used for prioritizing projects and participate in
facilitated sessions in which they set the system weights. Government entities that utilize these
methods often also collect and manage specific capital project data that correlates to these objectives.
The key outputs from the system can even include an optimal funding curve which shows the set of
projects estimated to produce the greatest benefits for any given funding level.10 However, all
prioritization systems are imperfect, as they are an aid for making decisions, not a decision making
device. When utilized, entities are better able to demonstrate to elected officials that investments in
infrastructure produce benefits that far outweigh the costs.10
Since master plans are the foundation of economic development, land acquisition and use,
transportation, and other major services that come to fruition through capital infrastructure, the GFOA
recommends that staffers directly relate elements of current master plan(s) into capital improvement
project requests. The CIP should be viewed as a financial blueprint that helps prioritize needs to
achieve implementation of the public improvements identified in the master plan. The level of funding
in the CIP defines the financial capacity to reach the desired goals set forth in the master plan.11 The
professional organizations also recommend using plans and service level goals developed by the
governing board and the community as a guide for developing capital projects. We found that the
majority of peer research cities are observing this practice. Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Ft. Lauderdale

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use the Mayor or Councils adopted strategic goals to guide project development at the departmental
level. Tacoma and San Jose staff look to the adopted master plan for their communities. Austin uses
departmental master plans, but will soon adopt a new comprehensive citywide plan that will be used
to guide capital planning. Greensboro meets with the Council in work sessions to receive direction and
guidance, while Phoenix staff meets with Council members and the community in district meetings
throughout the planning year.
The LICMA team believes that Edmonton is accomplishing an interconnect with departmental master
plans and the CIP. The Edmonton CIP utilizes a set term, is subject to review and defines service level
goals with performance measures.4 However, additional enhancements can be made in integrating this
with the decision-making process, even deep into the departmental prioritization and business case
development process.

Edmonton has recently evolved from a predominantly envelope type prioritization system to a more
robust system whereby a committee composed of departmental representatives from across the
organization prioritize capital projects based off of perceived organizational urgency and need. In
addition, over the last several years, components of the organizations strategic vision, The Ways, have
been adopted and its ethos has permeated the thinking of this prioritization committee. This has
enhanced the degree of corporate cooperation and unified goals in relation to capital projects.
However, shortcomings and difficulties have been identified and further refinement of the process has
been sought.
In interviews with the CPPC and the CLT, both groups explained how the newly formed CPPC group
and review process can be cumbersome. The group is very large and to some degree amorphous
throughout the entirety of the process. A significant amount of time and due diligence is dedicated to
the Edmonton Capital planning and evaluation process, which is a good thing. However, because of
competing priorities for time, the individual members of the CPPC may filter in and out of the multiday
evaluation process, with various departmental representatives filling in. This can lead to a somewhat
haphazard and inconsistent evaluation overall. The LICMA team recommends a reduction in the
overall membership of the CPPC, or perhaps breaking the CPPC process into two different filter
groups; a first filter and a second filter. The first committee being composed of a larger group made
up of individuals below the director or agency head level, with a second committee being made up of
directors and being more rigid in attendance and scope. The team also believes streamlining the
business case process may allow for less frequent and more productive meetings, which may help
improve consistent attendance.
The LICMA Team recommends that a checklist of The Ways strategic visioning criteria is incorporated
directly into the business case development process, preferably via a user-intuitive software system or
a template file. A system of simple yes and no questions, perhaps limited to less than 25, can quickly
identify to both the department preparing the project documentation as well as the CPPC, whether or

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not the project is accomplishing some of the major tenants of the corporate level strategic goals
outlined in The Ways. An example of this type of system can be found via the 14 questions the City of
Tacoma, Washington, utilizes in their capital project entry system (Appendix C) to ensure projects
comply with their very stringent, and state mandated, growth management policies. Another example
is the City of Austins prioritization questionnaire designed to demonstrate if projects support certain
strategic goals (Appendix D). An example adaptation for Edmonton could be, Does the project help
achieve a 3 year or 10 year target goal in one or more of the The Ways? with space in the template for
listing the goals or, if a computer program is used, selection areas could auto populate pre-loaded
goals from each Way.
The LICMA Team is recommending a switch to an ongoing preparation of the Capital Budget database
of projects upon replacement of the current database system. As such, an extensive amount of work
will be needed at the onset to build this database. However, after this initial effort, the ongoing effort
to maintain and update this database will be much more streamlined and the number of new entries
will be reduced. The LICMA team further recommends that each department continue to be assigned a
Budget and Finance representative to assist with and review their Capital Project submission, as a
business case, to ensure that the appropriate level of due diligence and emphasis of corporate level
goals has been accomplished. While additional staff specific to Capital Planning are not being
recommended, the LICMA team is recommending this be a short term sub-assignment during the
Capital Planning project submission timeline. This will assist with the consistency of submissions and
eventually with the evaluation process of the CPPC.
A weighted matrix of strategic priorities should be established with the City Council during each threeyear cycle in relation to Capital Planning. While a corporate directive that all elements of The Ways
are essential, interconnected, and equal, some elements must naturally be weighted more than others
in the process of prioritizing the appropriate projects to fund with a limited amount of available
funding. The political entity is the only entity qualified to assist with this weighting. In addition, this
prioritization matrix should be completed during the recommended earlier meetings with Council,
prior to the preparation of the Capital budget and Departmental project submission, so that the CLT
can draft appropriate corporate level messaging to reflect changes in prioritization. Thus, a
reprioritization of both newly added capital projects as well as existing projects already identified on
the database can occur on a more periodic basis. The CLT and CPPC will very clearly and quantifiably
know the Capital priorities of the City Council early in the evaluation process, making the process of
confirming the selection of projects by the CLT and City Council easier later in the process. In addition,
departments will very clearly know the political weights of strategic goals as set forth by City Council
direction, and consequently their shifting focus of the elements identified in The Ways, and this
information will filter down into the business case preparation and project submission process,
enhancing the overall quality of these submissions and corporate level thinking at the department
level. An excellent example for developing a weighted matrix for strategic goals is established via the
City of Ft. Lauderdale (Appendix E).

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While preparing the business cases the departments should be referencing the comprehensive plan
and the strategic visioning of The Ways documents. Specific elements in those documents should be
referenced so that explicit weighted points can be easily allocated to these projects and further
evaluated via the Budget and Finance Office and/or the CPPC. This will also help insure that the
corporate level priorities of the City, as decided by the City Council and the CLT, are incorporated into
the thinking of the departments project selection and preparation.
As each individual department is developing their business cases and evaluating the prioritization of
their projects, their departmental level master plans that have been completed with public input,
should be incorporated into the process. These should be referenced in the business plan as a cross
check to higher level decision making bodies, such as the CPPC and the CLT. This is an important
component to insure that public input is incorporated into the capital project process. Citizens are of
course allowed to speak at the annual budget process, but the information presented at these meeting
is often very high-level and beyond the scope of what the average citizen can truly comprehend at a
macro-level without spending an extensive amount of time digging into the details of the process and,
quite often, copious amounts of back-up documentation. Thus, a more informed degree of public input
can be sought at the departmental master plan level, where interested citizens can more easily grasp
the identified needs and express their opinions to be incorporated into the process. A strong impetus
must continue to be placed on the departments to develop these master plans.


Best Practices and Peer Research
When conducting best practice research on capital budgeting and infrastructure management, much of
the literature written well into the 2000s does not cover information technology (IT) infrastructure as
a basic asset category, nor the intricacies of how to plan for replacement and growth. While
technology infrastructure such as public safety radio systems, network connections, servers, and
enterprise-wide software contracts are very expensive and complicated projects, much like water and
road networks, the useful lifespan is rarely 50 or more years. Technology changes so rapidly that longterm debt is often not a sensible financing solution. Cities can find it challenging even to fund
organization-wide asset management software used to properly evaluate renewal projects for
traditional infrastructure such as street and bridge networks.
When researching peer cities, we found that most included major IT projects as part of the main multiyear capital improvement plan. Milwaukee, Phoenix, Boston, Winnipeg, Tacoma, Greensboro and Ft.
Lauderdale include major projects in their capital plan and are funded with combinations of cash and
debt. Examples of projects included public safety radio systems, network security upgrades, enterprise
wide software purchases or upgrades and server replacements. Austin reviews IT projects separately
from the main CIP process and funds projects with cash, lease, or limited short-term debt.
In recent years the GFOA has touted a business sector practice called IT Governance for state and local
government to use as a guide for IT strategic planning. IT Governance is an approach to technology

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management that incorporates the people at many levels of an organization, from executives to staff to
customers, into the process of technology planning. IT Governance engages people in an organization
to identify IT needs, prioritize IT projects, and measure results. Advantages of IT Governance include a
lower level of risk due to enhanced input and evaluation of projects and it provides for longer-term IT
planning for the organization.13
In the first two years of Austins IT Governance process, even after extensive review and prioritization
by two IT Governance committees, many new IT projects remained unfunded because of the need to
fund maintenance or critical replacement projects with only a limited amount of funding available to
do so. As Austin moves into the third year of IT Governance, staff continues to refine the process and
think strategically about prioritizing projects and exploring all funding options.
While a fully-fledged examination of updating IT Governance for Edmonton is outside the scope of this
project, some general lessons can be gleaned from the GFOAs basic plan and used as a guide to
identify strengths and weaknesses. First, like any renovation of a process, it takes time to implement
and perfect. Austin is still refining their process after two full budget years. Second, it can be beneficial
- for the purposes of efficiency and broadening the experience of participating staff - to make use of
existing committee structures within the organization. Just as it was once novel to evaluate road and
sewer projects via a cross-section of the organization, so it is now with bringing the unfamiliar and
evolving world of IT to their purview. Third, as has been mentioned previously in this report, it is
essential to establish an owner of the process and an executive champion. A top executive must
support brining IT out of a silo and into the fold of capital improvement planning. Fourth, effective
written and oral communication with participants is critical to the success of the process, especially to
highlight shared values, provide instructions, and to foster feedback for continuous improvement.

In the future, IT infrastructure will continue to hold its importance in sustaining public services nearly
equal with other assets and functions of an organization. 8 Finding a balance between renewal projects
that keep core communications systems running and growth projects that enhance efficiency is a
struggle that applies to IT just as any other asset category. Core systems must stay reliable to keep all
other services functional, but without some growth there is a potential for missed opportunity to
enhance services overall. As such an important and evolving asset category with immense
implications on financial planning, we recommend Edmonton continue to explore integrating its IT
budgeting process into the main capital planning process rather than keep an isolated process. Fairfax
County is an ICMA recognized leader in IT Governance and should be sought out for further
elaboration on how they have implemented best practices for incorporating IT projects into their
overall corporate decision making process.
The Way espouses operational excellence and names IT as a specific tool for achieving this excellence.
The City of Phoenix incorporates IT as one of ten tenants in its new strategic plan. This tenant
supports improving customer service, increasing operation efficiency and enhances security. While IT

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does not have its own Way in Edmonton, it functionally supports the people in the organization
conducting business to implement The Ways and achieve the goals in the plan.
A potential method to better incorporate IT into strategic prioritization scoring is to ask if the project
supports or enhances a key service area that is a partner in achieving a three or ten year goal set out in
The Ways. Once IT projects have adequate translation in the corporate prioritization of projects,
Edmonton can look at modifying the IT Governance process to meet the needs of preparing and
evaluating projects, which in turn will assist with developing a more comprehensive corporate capital
planning process. A set of recommended additional resources for evaluating IT Governance, including
contact information for Fairfax County, is provided in the references section of this report.
Additionally, Edmonton could develop a focused scope of study and submit for a project with the
Leadership ICMA Class of 2013.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is a leader in CIP process and has been very successful utilizing the process
and procedures that are currently in place. However, despite these successes, Edmonton has faced
challenges with its CIP process as it has worked to upgrade and improve them.
The LICMA Team has identified these challenges and has worked to develop recommendations that
are designed to address these challenges and aid Edmonton in moving their CIP process to an even
higher level of performance. As demonstrated through this report, the major challenges and their
recommendations are as follows:

Challenge - Improve Council input and participation in the capital process to better
understand Council priorities and challenges in regard to capital budgeting and capital
Recommendation - Amend the timeline for the CIP process to include earlier discussion with
the Council to gain their input and perspective, include a process of completing a weighted
scoring matrix of strategic vision priorities.
Challenge - Balance the effectiveness of capital project business cases with the staff time
dedicated to preparing them.
Recommendation - Limit the amount of content that can be included in each topic area,
standardize the business case summary sheet, and include a checklist of criteria within the
business case that correlate with the Citys comprehensive planning and strategic visioning efforts .
Challenge - Size and makeup of the CPPC can be viewed as large and somewhat amorphous,
and this condition leads to a dilution of the process.
Recommendation - Reduce the membership of the CPPC or break it into two groups that can
act as two filter stages for project evaluation and ranking.

The LICMA Team has also concluded that there are several key action steps that Edmonton can take to
further improve their CIP process. They are as follows:

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CLT should hold a CIP Kick-off event as a milestone within the process timeline.
Amend current CIP timeline to reflect definitive dates and deadlines.
Update database of projects on an as needed basis.
Develop a CIP manual for use by staff involved with the process.
Create a business case template (incorporate The Ways criteria in template).
Provide business case training for branches.
Develop a project scoring matrix with Edmonton specific criteria related to The Ways.

Overall, the LICMA Team has been extremely impressed with the CIP team and process that Edmonton
has in place. The LICMA Team feels that the current practices in Edmonton can be used as a model for
other communities to use as a template for process improvements. However, through the
consideration and potential implementation of our recommendations and action items, we believe that
Edmonton can achieve even more success in capital planning and capital project prioritization.

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Best Practice Resources
1. Capital Budgeting and Finance: A Guide for Local Governments, J. Marlow, W. Rivenbank, A.
Vogt, 2nd edition 2004, ICMA Press.
2. Capital Project Planning and Evaluation: Expanding the Role of the Finance Officer, J. Casey, M.
Mucha, 2007, Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
3. GFOA Best Practice: Preparing and Adopting Multi-Year Capital Planning, 2006,
4. InfraGuide Decision Making and Investment Planning: Planning and Defining Municipal
Infrastructure Needs, 2003, Federation of Canadian Municipalities and National Research
5. GFOA Best Practice: Presentation of the Capital Budget in the Budget Document, 2008,
6. Building for Prosperity: Public Infrastructure in Canada, Infrastructure Canada.
7. InfraGuide Decision Making and Investment Planning: Investment Parameters for Municipal
Infrastructure, 2003, Federation of Canadian Municipalities and National Research Council.
8. Prioritizing Capital Projects in a Suffering Economy, A. Abraham, PM Magazine, May 2009.
9. InfraGuide Decision Making and Investment Planning: Managing Infrastructure Assets, 2005,
Federation of Canadian Municipalities and National Research Council.
10. Prioritizing Projects, Lee Merkhofer, 2005, For more information on Catawba
11. GFOA Best Practice: The Role of Master Plans in Capital Improvement Planning, 2008,
12. GFOA Best Practice: Incorporating a Capital Project Budget in the Budget Process, 2007,
13. GFOA Aligning Technology with Business through IT Governance Presentation Guide,

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Peer City Resources

Austin, TX
Kimberly Springer, Capital Planning Office,, 512-974-2924
Baltimore, MD
Sara Paranilam, Capital Planning Budget Analyst, Planning Dept., 410-396-5935
Boston, MA
John Hanlon, Office of Budget and Management, 617-635-3490
Calgary, AB
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Greensboro, NC
Jerome Fletcher,, 336.373.4365
Milwaukee, MN
Jennifer Meyer, Budget Office, 414-286-3741,
Phoenix, AZ ,
Kevin Hodgkins, Budget Office,, 602-262-4800,
San Jose, CA
Walter Rossmann,, 408- 535-8188
Tacoma, WA
Winnipeg, MB

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IT Governance Resources
IT Budgeting and Decision Making: Maximizing Your Government's Technology Investments, Shayne
Kavanagh, GFOA, 2009.
IT Governance Institute
IT Governance Institute City of Mesa, AZ, Case Study
IT Governance Institute Board Briefing 2 nd Edition
Public Technology Institute,
Harvard Business School Ten Principles of IT Governance
Sample of North American cities/counties with pronounced IT Governance: Atlanta, GA; Indianapolis,
IN; Oakland County, MI; Nevada County, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Memphis, TN; Tampa, FL; Fairfax County, VA.
Fairfax County Contacts:
David Molchany, Deputy County Executive and CIO,
Wanda Gibson, IT Director, 703.324.4521, or 703.324.3380,

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Appendix A Timeline Research
Austin, Texas
The City of Austins CIP is developed for a period of five years. It is updated annually and reported on
the Citys web site. The CIP is developed and reported on the same time each year (December through
July/August) and does not coincide with Council elections that occur in May.
The Citys annual capital appropriation is proposed with the Citys Proposed Budget in July for
Councils consideration and approved in early September. The City Council can amend the Citys
annual Capital Budget but they do not vote on the CIP plan. The CIP is, however, considered and
recommended by the Citys Planning Commission.
Baltimore, Maryland
The capital planning budget is based on an annually reviewed 6 year rolling plan. The City Council and
their appointed boards review the 6-year capital budget every year. Council elections occur on nonstaggered 4 year terms. The City submits its CIP to the Mayors Office for their review prior to
recommendations being made to the citizen-led Planning Commission. The Finance office releases
capital plan budget targets to the Planning Dept. in late August and early September. The Capital
Planning division of the Planning Dept. releases targets to each Agency in late September (envelope
system). Agencies (departments) are expected to prepare their capital plan priorities and submit them
back to the Capital Planning division by the end of November. Final recommendations are made to the
Planning Commission (6 citizen reps, City Council rep, and Mayors Office rep) in early March. City
Council reviews in June. Capital Planning Budget runs parallel, but slightly ahead of Operating budget
Boston, Massachusetts
Bostons CIP process encompasses five years with a review and renewal conducted on an annual basis.
Since Boston is a strong Mayor form of government, the Mayor and his staff prepare both the proposed
CIP and annual Budget which are then submitted to the City Council.
Calgary, Alberta
Calgary operates a CIP timeline of five years that ensures appropriate planning for required projects
and their related funding to demonstrate the complete impact of major, multi-year projects. The
annual capital budget is allocated based on the five year capital investment plan and is approved by
Council as part of the three year business planning and budgeting cycle.

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Greensboro, North Carolina

Greensboro operates a ten year CIP. A CIP Team reviews projects monthly and ranks them with a
scoring tool in preparation for a recommendation and discussion to Council that occurs in April with a
follow-up in May and adoption in June. CIP information is provided in report, PowerPoint
Presentation, and spreadsheet format with the approved CIP posted on the Citys website. The CIP is
reviewed and approved annually and does not intentionally tie in with the council elections which are
every two years.
CIP discussions with Council include priority of projects, construction start times, costs, bond issuance
capacity, etc. Staff recommends the projects and their order of completion with debt capacities and
how it will affect the tax rate and Council has the final approval.
The CIP and budgeting process occur parallel to each other. CIP projects are entered in the CIP
database used by employees in February and are vetted by the CIP Team through April. The final, CIP
along with the recommended budget, are submitted to Council in June for their consideration.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Ft. Lauderdale operates a five year Community Investment Plan (CIP). A review and update occurs on
an annual basis. A major step in the CIP development is the prioritization matrix. The City Managers
Office develops and presents to the City Commission a prioritization matrix used to assist with the
evaluation and ranking of CIP project applications. The Commission provides input in regards to what
rating criteria is used as part of the prioritization matrix. The approved prioritization matrix is used to
develop the City Managers recommend CIP for consideration by the Commission.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee operates as a Council-Mayor form of Government which makes the Mayor lead for
recommending the CIP and Budget to the Council. Milwaukees CIP is a six year plan that is reviewed
and updated annually with the operating budget. Any project equal or greater than two million is
reported in the annual budget document. The Accountability in Management (AIM) Team, consisting of
department managers and the Mayor, meet monthly to review project status reports that contain
information on timeline, expenditures and scope. The public and Council can use a web-based
database to find information on approved projects and track them through completion. Councilors
have four years term of office, all at once (not staggered). The most recent election was in 2012, so the
CIP overlaps a term of Council.
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix manages a five year CIP process that corresponds to the annual budget process. Departments
prepare and submit their respective projects in January for City Manager review and presentation to
Council in April. The City Manager must then present the recommended CIP to Council three months
before the budget adoption date. The requirement is mandated by state statute and typically lands in
May or June.

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San Jose, California

San Jose develops a five year CIP process that parallels the annual budget process. Updates of the
current fiscal year CIP are provided on an annual basis in report format. The report provides up-todate information on all projects, trends and issues of importance to the CIP program, including
schedule and budget constraints.
Tacoma, Washington
Tacoma maintains a five year Capital Facilities Program (CFP) which serves as a planning and financial
plan. It is a prioritization of the capital improvements the city intends to build and a plan for how to
pay. It is an important filter that demonstrates that the Capital Facilities Element of the
Comprehensive Plan is financially realistic. An annual update is developed and presented to the Citys
Planning Commission and to City Council.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Winnipeg maintains a six year CIP developed and a preliminary capital budget for one year and a five
year forecast. The CIP is developed by the Mayor and the Corporate Finance Office and presented as a
recommendation to all members of Council in November. Prior to this, there is an opportunity for a
public consultation session and a review and recommendation by the Standing Policy Committee.
Council ultimately has the ability to review and provide feedback prior to approval.

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Appendix B Definitions of Renewal and Growth

Canadas InfraGuide defines the three asset categories as follows 9:
Rehabilitation Works to rebuild or replace parts or components of an asset, to restore it to a
required functional condition and extend its life, which may incorporate some modification. Generally
involves repairing the asset to deliver its original level of service without resorting to significant
or renewal, using available techniques and standards.
Replacement The complete replacement of an asset that has reached the end of its service life, to
provide an alternative that satisfies a targeted level of service.
Reinvestment Funds allocated to capital projects that are rebuilding the existing municipal
infrastructure asset base. New capacities and operations are excluded from infrastructure
reinvestment decisions.
Milwaukee defines projects as follows:
Preservation a capital improvement project whose major objective is to reconstruct, rehabilitate, or
otherwise restore an existing systemor facility to full functionality.
Expansion a project whose primary objective is to construct a new system or to expand an existing
system or facility to meet increased demands or to enhance development.
In the most recent multi-year plan, Milwaukee allocated 64% of funding to preservation projects and
36% of funding to expansion projects.
Boston defines projects as:
Upkeep projects that maintain existing assets.
New or Major Renovation new facilities, new technology systems, major rehabilitations including
greening or sustainability initiatives.
Upgrade improve existing assets by adding capacity or innovation.
Planning master planning facilities or programs to target future investments.
In the current plan Boston allocated resources to these categories by 53 percent, 23 percent, 22
percent and one percent respectively.

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Appendix C Tacoma Comprehensive Plan Questions for Business Case


Page 31



Question Text

Mixed-Use Centers Is the project located within a mixed-use center

or provides connections between two or more centers?



Question Text

Housing Affordability Does the project have a positive impact on

the number, location, and quality of housing opportunities for families
and individuals throughout the City?



Question Text

Multimodal Transportation Does the project address multiple

modes of transportation to safely and efficiently move people and
goods by accommodating and encouraging the use of transit, highoccupancy vehicles, bicycles and/or walking?



Question Text

Level of Service Will the project improve the level of service of a

facility or meet the adopted LOS within the next six years?



Question Text

Facility Preservation Would the project preserve an existing capital

facility, avoiding greater expense in future years?



Question Text

Essential Public Facilities If this project is defined as an Essential

Public Facility, has the siting and planning occurred in compliance
with RCW 36.70A.200 and consistent with the Generalized Land Use
Element policies pertaining to Siting Essential Public Facilities?



Question Text

Environmental Protection Does this project directly respond to the

climate change, conserve/preserve natural resources including
critical areas and shorelines, and/or protect or improve air or water



Question Text

Open Space Does the project acquire, develop and improve the
optimum variety and number of recreation and open space facilities
consistent with the changing needs of the community?



Question Text

Active Living Is the project designed to accommodate, facilitate

and/or promote active living and physical activity, such as walking,
bicycling, taking safe routes to school, and other recreational and
sports activities?



Question Text

Economic Development Will the project make a significant positive

impact on the local economy and/or tax base?



Question Text

Municipal Art Program Does the project qualify for the Municipal Art
Program (TMC 1.28)?



Question Text

Arts and Culture Does this project strengthen the City's arts and
cultural environment and attract more individuals to downtown
Tacoma, mixed-use centers or business districts?



Question Text

Historic Preservation will the project enhance and protect a historic

building, historic site or archaeological site?



Question Text

Citizen Participation Did community members, neighborhood and

business district organizations, the general public, and pertinent
governmental entities participate in the planning, development and
approval of this project?

Capital Project Prioritization

Appendix D Austin CIP Prioritization Questionnaire

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Capital Improvement Program

Prioritization Questionnaire
Select a Subproject ID from the list or click "New" to add a new subproject ID.
Any subproject ID added MUST already exist in eCAPRIS.
Subproject ID
Dept. Priority

Urgent Needs

Does this program/project address any of the following urgent needs that either are occurring or will most likely occur if
not addressed within the 5-year CIP planning horizon?
Serious public health, safety or security threat(s)?


Serious infrastructure failure(s)?


Significant degradation of service(s) or compromise to delivery of service(s)?


A legal judgment, court order, regulatory mandate, or state or federal law?


If yes, please cite the specific judgment, court order, mandate or law.
If you selected "Yes" to any of the urgent needs above.
Which fiscal year of the CIP planning horizon will the negative impact(s) occur or most likely occur?


( If you do not know, please use your best judgment. For the purposes of this questionnaire, Fiscal Year 1 = FY
2013, Fiscal Year 2 = FY 2014, Fiscal Year 3 = FY 2015, Fiscal Year 4 = FY 2016, Fiscal Year 5= FY 2017, and >
Fiscal Year 5 = 2018 or later.
Please briefly describe how the program/project will address the urgent need(s) selected above.

Planning Priorities

Does this program/project directly implement.

a priority program(s) or action(s) identified in the Imagine Austin comprehensive plan?


Please cite the action(s) and briefly describe how this program/project will implement them.

any project(s), action item(s) or recommendation(s) identified in any of the following neighborhood plans? Please select up to 4.
Plan #1:

None of These

Plan #2

Plan #3

Plan #4

If yes, was the program/project recommended by the Planning Commission for inclusion in the CIP?


Please cite the Planning Commission recommendation(s) fiscal year.

a priority project(s) or recommendation(s) identified in any of the following Master Plans?


Downtown Austin Master Plan


North Burnet Gateway Master Plan


East Riverside Corridor Master Plan


Plaza Satillo TOD Station Area Plan


Great Streets Master Plan


University Neighborhood Overlay District


Lamar/Justin Ln TOD Station Area Plan


Waller Creek District Master Plan


MLK Jr Blvd TOD Station Area Plan

Please cite the project(s) or recommendation(s) and briefly describe how this program/project will implement them.

strategies identified in long-range or strategic plans from any of the following regional agencies?

Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization


Capital Metro Long-Range Transit Plan


Capital Area Council of Governments



Other, Please describe below.

Collaborative projects with regional partner agencies (such as TXDOT),

Please describe below.

Please cite the strategies and briefly describe how this program/project will implement them.

Policy Directives

Does this program/project directly address a policy directive, or directives, approved by the Austin City

If yes, please cite the resolution(s) and briefly describe how it will be addressed with the CIP.


Business Priorities

Does this program/project address any of the following department level priorities not included in any of the
previously mentioned City, community or regional planning efforts?
Department policies.


Department plan(s), such as a departmental strategic plan.


Significant progress toward achieving departmental business goals or priorities.


Horizon Issues identified in your department's business plan.


Tangible improvement to service delivery or access to service.


If yes, please cite the plan or objective and briefly describe how it will be addressed with the program/project.

Cost Impact

Does this program/project reduce the City of Austin's financial commitments by

decreasing current operating and maintenance costs?


preventing future operating and maintenance costs?


preventing future capital costs?


increasing - or preventing anticipated loss of - City revenue?


leveraging external (public or private) funds?


If you selected yes to any of the above, please briefly describe how this program/project will reduce the City of Austin's existing or future
financial commitments. (Operations and Maintenance Costs will be addressed in another section.)

Economic Sustainability Impact

Does this program/project increase the economic sustainability of the City of Austin by
facilitating private investments (or other activities) that will produce jobs?


facilitating private investments (or other activities) that will attract new companies?


facilitating private investments (or other activities) that will retain and/or grow local business?


integrating or leveraging investments in local innovation and emerging technology?


addressing more than one service delivery need within a department or across departments?


If you selected yes to any of the above, please briefly how this program/project will increase the economic sustainability of
the City of Austin.

Environmental Sustainability Impact

Does this program/project increase the environmental sustainability of the City of Austin by
making critical assets or services more resilient so they can adapt to or recover from disruptive events?


implementing measures included in the Austin Climate Protection Plan, including green house gas reduction, m?
demonstrating an innovative approach to more sustainable, environmentally friendly service delivery


Please describe how the CIP will address environmental sustainability in the City of Austin, and please cite any
Austin Climate Protection Plan measures (if applicable).

Social Equity Sustainability Impact

Does this program/project increase the social equity sustainability of the City of Austin by
providing infrastructure or services to a previously underserved geographic area or population?


directly contributing to mixed use development?

directly contributing to the preservation or vitality of cultural or historical assets, sense of place, or


If you selected yes to any of the above, please briefly how this program/project will increase the social equity sustainability of
the City of Austin.

Operating and Maintenance Impact

If available, please provide either the positive or negative impact this program/project will have on the following Operating
and Maintenance costs(Please enter negative numbers in parenthesis)
Annualized O/M
FTEs (Full-Time Employees)


Please be prepared to provide supporting evidence for any positive impacts noted above.

Project Location

Where is this program/project located? (Please refer to the map provided in the instruction booklet.)

Not Applicable


Central East (CE)


Northeast (NE)


Southeast (SE)


Downtown Austin Project Coordination

Zone (DAPCZ)


Central West (CW)


Northwest (NW)


Southwest (SW)

Please click Save to store your responses or Save and Copy to store and copy answers to another Subproject.

Thank you for completing the Prioritization Questionnaire!

Capital Project Prioritization

Appendix E Ft. Lauderdale Memo to Council on Prioritization Matrix

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