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Overview of the Capital Improvement Program

The capital improvement program (CIP) is a five year plan, approved by City Council, that allocates

limited financial resources to high priority needs. It is a primary mechanism for implementing the city’s

long-term vision and strategic plan.

When identifying new projects, staff look to the long-term priorities and direction set by City Council

through strategic planning, as well as the city’s comprehensive plan. In addition, long-term studies and

citizen input also lead to additional requests. Staff submit formal requests through the annual budget

process. A formal request includes a “business case” that articulates the project need, coordination with

city plans, and potential operating costs. Business cases for new projects should be supported with

relevant data and information. Staff analyze and discuss these requests, then prioritize the requests

based on consistency with Council goals, documented need, and cost.

The CIP is organized into eight pieces called “elements” based on similar purpose and dedicated revenue



general public improvement element (GPI)

funds maintenance and construction of general

government and public safety facilities and infrastructure. This element also includes selected

economic development projects and other general needs.


public utilities

element funds the ongoing maintenance and improvement of water and

sewer infrastructure. These projects include main replacements, water treatment plant

renovations, filter rehabilitation, and pump station maintenance.



element funds projects meant to manage and mitigate the effects of stormwater

runoff. Project categories include general infrastructure, lake preservation, and drainage.



element addresses major city streets, infrastructure maintenance, parking

facility maintenance, long-term studies, and pedestrian-oriented projects. Both the 2011 and

2013 transportation bond referenda are implemented through this element.


parks, recreation and cultural resources

element funds capital maintenance and

renovations at the city’s community centers, athletic facilities, greenways, and cultural sites.

Projects can include structural and mechanical repairs and pavement repair and resurfacing.

This element also funds land acquisition and long-term studies.



element provides capacity for increasing the stock of affordable housing throughout

the city through neighborhood revitalization, first time home ownership programs and house

rehabilitation projects.


convention and performing arts complex

element funds maintenance, renovations, and

improvements at three downtown facilities: Raleigh Convention Center, Performing Arts Center,

and the downtown amphitheater. This element also includes the Walnut Creek Amphitheater in

southeast Raleigh.



element funds the planning, design and implementation of new technological

infrastructure. These projects include maintaining the city’s enterprise resource management

system and implementing a new land use planning system.

The city uses a variety of revenue sources to fund capital improvements. Capital revenues can be

classified into two broad types: cash (or “paygo”) and debt-financing. Cash sources include property and

sales tax revenues transferred from the city’s General Fund. Other cash sources include state-shared

revenues, facility fees, program income, and interest earnings. For debt-financing, the city uses a range

of debt mechanisms, including general obligation bonds. Some revenue sources, such as general fund

transfers, can be applied to any city project. Other revenues such as facility fees and Powell Bill funds,

may only be spent on eligible projects. Major funding sources for the CIP are described below: