Development Process

The development of a capital improvement program is a continual process and, consequently, should be viewed as a work in progress. Therefore, while this document covers a five-year planning perspective, it is revised every year in order to accommodate new projects, reflect changes in ongoing projects, and extend the program an additional year. The first year of the plan is incorporated into the annual budget as required by the city’s charter, and funds are appropriated through the budget adoption.

Improvements identified in subsequent years are approved only on a planning basis and do not receive any appropriation. Cost estimates for years two through five are presented for planning purposes only, and are used in conjunction with the city’s long-range financial plan. The CIP development process utilizes a “project-ready” approach whereby the scope and budget for a proposed improvement are clearly defined prior to the appropriation of funds for construction.

The city seeks involvement of various stakeholders during the CIP development process because the city recognizes the invested interest in maintaining Sugar Land as a "great place to live and work." The city considers input from citizens, the Planning and Zoning Commission, City Council, and city staff members in the CIP’s preparation.

A project list is compiled by the Engineering Department, prioritized by year, and cost estimates assigned. City Council is able to weigh citizen input with staff recommendations to ensure that both are equally considered. The Budget and Research Department also looks at the overall impact of projects, including the need to issue debt, potential impact on the tax rate, and operations and maintenance impact to the city.

The City Council, through budget workshops, reviews the proposed CIP and any recommended changes are incorporated into the final document. A final five-year CIP is then presented with the annual budget for Council consideration and approval. Upon Council adoption, the five-year CIP document is reproduced and distributed for implementation of the program.