City Council to consider $350 million funding plan for capital projects

The City Council will consider a plan Feb. 20 to fund $350 million in streets, parks, drainage and other capital improvements.

Those projects have been identified as community needs, but are not included in proposals for Scottsdale’s next fiscal budget or five-year capital improvement plan. The reason is cost. Not enough funding exists to pay for them.

Instead, they could be funded by a variety of additional revenue sources as recommended by a Council subcommittee that has been studying how to prioritize and fund capital needs for the past 12 months.

At a Feb. 8 meeting, the subcommittee explored how some capital projects not currently funded in the budget could be paid for through a combination of general obligation bonds, sales tax, and an increase in the city’s storm water fee. Some of those options would require a public vote.

Scottsdale’s latest budgeting process has identified about 200 potential capital improvement projects totaling more than $800 million. The proposed city budget and capital improvement plan, however, has only identified funding for 31 projects, totaling about $33 million.

The alternative funding sources explored could close that funding gap to pay for a group of projects totaling about $350 million, which were identified by the subcommittee as the most pressing needs.

Capital projects are defined as “brick and mortar” assets – things like streets, libraries, parks, sewers and water lines. They are considered separate from a city’s operating expenses such as salaries, fuel and electricity.

The City Council Capital Improvement Subcommittee, composed of Vice Mayor Virginia Korte, Councilman Guy Phillips and Councilman David N. Smith, was appointed by Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane in 2017 to review the city’s capital needs and make recommendations to the City Council.

View the funding options reviewed by the subcommittee here (PDF).

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