The distribution of instructions for the five-year capital improvement program formally initiates the capital budget process for the City of Kansas City, Mo. This distribution occurs in May shortly after the start of the fiscal year. Each department receives a copy of the instructions and has 60 days to submit a request to the Capital Improvements program administrator in the City Manager's Office.
Projects included in the departmental requests are generated by a variety of means. In general, most result from resident requests, analyses of the City's present and future needs and field inspections. Each department submits its request in priority order and provides cost estimates for plans, land acquisition, construction and other elements of each project. Descriptions of the projects are also provided. In addition, the departments propose a schedule of when each project should ideally begin and when it should be completed. This information is then compiled and reviewed.
The PIAC holds a series of public hearings beginning in early summer. These hearings provide citizens with an opportunity to express their opinions, concerns and project requests regarding the forthcoming capital budget. City staff attends these meetings, which serve as an additional means of gaining citizen input. Information obtained from these hearings play a prominent role in deliberations of the PIAC. Once all the citywide requests are submitted, a sub-committee of staff, objectively rate all projects with the exception of mandated and maintenance projects. These ratings serve as one tool for the PIAC to consider in their deliberations.
After the neighborhood and citywide hearings, PIAC begins its deliberations to narrow down their recommendations to a balanced five-year capital program along with their final neighborhood recommendations. This concludes in early December and the entire recommendations are given to the mayor, City Council and city manager.
Although this formal process usually concludes in January, the city manager and staff continue to make necessary adjustments to the program as part of the procedures involved in developing a balanced budget. Adjustments can be made based on the feedback received from various interested parties. The city manager's final capital improvements recommendation is submitted as part of the proposed budget to the City Council.
The City Council reviews the capital budget recommendations as part of its deliberations on the entire budget. Public hearings are held during this time at which interested citizens may express their viewpoints on the submitted capital budget and other items contained in the total budget. The capital budget is finalized at the time the City Council adopts a budget for the new fiscal year, which must take place by the third City Council meeting in March. Within weeks of the council's adoption of the budget for the new fiscal year, the process of developing a capital improvement program for the next fiscal year begins.