Delaware City Council voted to approve its latest five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the years 2022-26. The CIP was approved unanimously following the fifth reading of the resolution during Monday’s council meeting.
The city’s Finance Department submitted an amended draft of the CIP to council ahead of its last meeting and the fourth reading of the CIP on Sept. 27. Approximately $1.8 million was reduced from the 2022 budget in the amended version due to a lack of funding for certain projects scheduled for next year.
Under the amended CIP, the city’s Capital Improvement Plan General Fund shows a positive ending balance of $15,000 in 2022. However, the ending balance shows a deficit of $4,944,783 in 2023, and that deficit grows over the next three years to $9,042,948.
The CIP shows general fund totals of $1,059,154 and $1,705,238 available for capital improvement projects in 2022 and 2023 before those totals decline to a deficit of $2,966,979 in 2024, $5,296,005 in 2025, and $6,279,709 in 2026.
“Essentially, what we found when we had the final draft of the CIP done, we were wrapping up work on the operating budget, and we found in the five-year operating forecast if we didn’t move or defray some of these capital projects in future years, we would see, basically, a negative fund balance in the general fund,” Finance Director Justin Nahvi told council on Monday.
Nahvi added, “When we do incorporate this into the operating budget, we are in compliance with our budget reconciliation and balancing. We’ll show that when we have the first reading for the budget in 2022.”
Among the items in the CIP that were moved were improvements to Oak Grove Cemetery, improvements to the Public Works building, elements of the city’s sidewalk program, traffic improvements, a firearm training simulator for the police department, and equipment purchases.
“This really underscores the challenge that we face as a community in terms of addressing capital needs,” City Manager Tom Homan said during the meeting.
During the previous council meeting, Homan made it clear the projects that were cut next year have not been canceled altogether. However, Councilman Cory Hoffman pointed out the possibility that those projects that are being pushed back could very well be extended even further in the years to come if more funding is not found for the projects.
“Obviously, we need more dedicated revenue coming into the CIP to offset the costs of these projects,” Homan said. “We maintain a lot — we have a lot of facilities and also a lot of equipment. It’s part of a larger conversation we’re going to have to have. This just sort of underscores it. Were able to balance 2022, but we really have to fundamentally address these other years.”
The CIP can be viewed in full by going to www.delawareohio.net/government/city-council-boards-commissions-committees and clicking on the agenda.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.