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Introduction
The City of Sugar Land's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) has been developed in order to further the city’s commitment to the citizens of Sugar Land. This program works to meet today's infrastructure needs as well as those of the future. From work on underground water and sewer lines to more visible projects, such as a minor league baseball stadium or major roadway projects, the five-year CIP addresses the needs of the city through responsible city government and a comprehensive approach that ensures efficient use of public funds.

The CIP is a long range plan that identifies capital projects, provides a planning schedule, and identifies options for financing the plan. The program provides a link between the city’s comprehensive plan, various master plans, the annual budget, and the five-year financial forecast. This organized approach to planning projects should extend beyond the production of a document alone. A centralized CIP is an opportunity to foster cooperation among departments and inform other governmental entities and rating agencies of the city’s priorities and future plans. The process of developing a CIP should solidify the support of the citizens of Sugar Land and the city's commitment to carrying out these programs.

By going beyond the production of a document, the process and development of a long-term capital improvement program can realize the following benefits:
  • Focus Attention of Community Goals & Needs
    Capital projects can be brought into line with the city's objectives, allowing projects to be prioritized based on need. Furthermore, the CIP can be used as an effective tool for achieving the goals set forth in the city's Comprehensive Plan.
  • Allow for an Informed Public
    The CIP keeps the public informed about the future capital investment plans of the city and allows them to play a more active role in the process.
  • Encourage More Efficient Program Administration
    By enhancing the level of communication among the various departments implementing capital improvement projects, the city is able to better coordinate efforts, avoiding duplication of efforts and potential conflicts. Work can be more effectively scheduled and available personnel and equipment can be better utilized when it is known in advance what, when, and where projects will be undertaken.
  • Identify the Most Economically Sound Means of Funding Projects
    Through proper planning, the need for bond issues or other revenue production measures can be foreseen and action can be taken before the need becomes so critical that emergency financing measures are required. By fiscally constraining all five-years of the CIP, the city is able to identify projects without a viable funding source and work to put in place sources of funding.
  • Enhance the City's Credit Rating
    Dramatic changes in the tax structure and bonded indebtedness can be avoided with proper planning that allows the city to minimize the impact of capital improvement projects. By keeping planned projects within the financial capabilities of the city, we are able to preserve our credit rating and make the city more attractive to business and industry.
  • Help to Plan for Future Debt Issues
    The city last held a general obligation bond election in January 1999. At that time the voters approved a $34.5 million bond package. The city issued all of the voted authorization as of June 2010. The five-year CIP is a key tool in planning for future issuance of debt, such as certificates of obligation, or identifying projects for a future general obligation bond referendum.
  • Define the Impact of Master Plans & Studies
    Based on history, the master plans conducted by the city help to identify the path forward and define the direction for each particular discipline, whether it is thoroughfare planning, facility planning or water planning. Through proper coordination the necessary planning will lead to successful endeavors as the city grows and the improvements identified become a necessity.

In the case of Preliminary Engineering Reports (PER), they almost always result in a capital improvement. Until these PERs are completed and ready to move into the design phase of work, potential projects are not included in the CIP. The PERs are shown within each project type but are tracked under a different numbering system than active projects. They are conducted in order to provide more information and clarification on future projects to provide more accurate costing measures.

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