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Capital Improvement Committee

The Capital Improvement Committee meets each year for six to eight weeks in the fall. At these weekly meetings the Committee reviews all requests that are presented to them by the Department Heads and concludes the process with a capital plan that is then submitted to the Budget Committee and the Select Board. 

The membership of the Capital Improvement Committee is as follows: Robert Hanson,  Alan Zeller, Ed Juengst, James Kelly,  Leandra MacDonald, Carl Mabbs-Zeno, Valerie Jenkins, and Lindsey Dreyer. 

Background

A Capital Improvements Program (hereinafter referred to as a CIP) is an important tool the Town of Peterborough utilizes to help manage anticipated growth and development.  It is an actual plan that lays out a budget for and a schedule of municipal expenditures.  The plan shows when, and at what cost, the town expects to expand and/or provide services and facilities in the future. 

The Town of Peterborough has had a CIP since 1989.  In 1997 a CIP Committee was established, whose charge it was to oversee the development and maintenance of the CIP.  Each year the Committee gathers the budgetary information from all Town Department Heads, reviews the requests, and makes final recommendations to the Selectmen and the Budget Committee.  It is the responsibility of the Committee to work with the Departments to make any adjustments that are necessary to reach an acceptable budget.

The use of the CIP is important to the proper functioning of the town, as the process requires department heads to make projections based on expected needs.  The development of the CIP compels departments to create a plan that allows them to carry out projects to completion.  The Town of Peterborough sees this process as beneficial and valuable, and so has continued to maintain a formal Capital Improvements Program for the past 19 years.

Peterborough defines a capital improvement as one with a cost of at least $10,000 and a useful life of five years or more.  A working definition of capital projects typically will be related to one or more of the following criteria:

§    a large dollar expenditure;

§    the extended useful life of facility or equipment;

§    an infrequent recurrence of the expenditure;

§    bonded debt needed for financing;

§    real property acquisition or development;

§    expansion of utility systems;

§    creation or expansion of a public building.

Using this definition, a capital improvement might include major equipment, vehicles, land, buildings, computers, or road construction.  In addition, planning, feasibility, engineering or design studies could also be included, if they are related to a capital improvement project.  Items such as personnel salaries, supplies and routine maintenance costs are not to be considered under a CIP,  although some maintenance costs might be included, depending on the cost and useful life of the repair.

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