Sister Bay’s First Capital Improvement Plan Reveals Big Picture

“Going without a CIP is planning to fail by failing to plan.”

Those were the words of Nate Bell, a Village of Sister Bay trustee, regarding the importance of the village’s first formal Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), covering 2022-26. 

“The village has always incorporated some CIP planning into its budget process, but this plan is more comprehensive and covers a longer time frame,” said Tasha Rass, village finance director. 

The village board discussed the 2022-26 plan in August as it was prepared and presented by Baird Public Finance, sent it to committees for input, and approved the final CIP in September.

The plan will be updated annually as part of the village’s overall budget process.

The Role of a CIP

As a planning tool, a CIP acts as a big-picture plan to help a municipality set a course for large purchases and infrastructure development in five-year increments. The expected price of each program or project is assigned, as well as how the village intends to pay for the project: through the property-tax levy, debt financing, grants or revenue from the village’s Premier Resort Area Tax.

The plan acts as a map that guides the village’s purchasing decisions, but none of the projects proceed unless the village board specifically authorizes them. As new projects or changes to existing projects arise – either at the village-board or committee levels – the CIP can be revised to incorporate them.

“[If that happens], the village staff will make recommendations for funding at that time,” Rass said. 

What’s on Tap

The plan shows about $1.58 million worth of projects for 2022; $6 million for 2023; $1.7 million for 2024; $663,958 for 2025; and $1.5 million for 2026. 

Some of the larger 2022 projects are $340,000 for the marina, $233,334 for the fire department and $700,000 for streets.

If all projects proceed and are funded as estimated, the total capital investment over the course of the five-year plan is $11.6 million. The highest-ticket projects include $5.5 million for general government and administration in 2023 and $1.4 million for the ice rink in 2024.

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