The county administrator invited the MCTA to sit in on the CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) discussions to create a list for the next budget year. We attended approximately 50% of the departmental meetings with senior management held over the course of two weeks. At this point, the CIP is preliminary and will be presented to the commission for any changes and final approval.
The CIP is a budgeting tool to allow the government to program capital improvements throughout the county in a systematic way. The CIP takes a long-term approach to funding big ticket items. Martin County uses a ten-year projection. However, the only certainty is in the next year’s adopted plan.
An example is the Parks & Recreation Department. According to the 2022 ten-year plan, Martin County has a total of $64,708,519 in capital improvements programed for that department. In 2022, the amount that they are requesting in total is $8,964,982. If the commission does not change the amount, then that is what will be allocated in next year’s budget.
For parks, they have already identified where the money is coming from on the income side with the bulk derived from ad valorem taxes. Later years, although already programed, can and frequently will be changed to accommodate new situations.
In those sessions and in discussion with County Administrator Kryzda, we saw her desire to keep the CIP flat with last year’s appropriation. This was because of the uncertainty of tax collections due to Covid. It appeared that her departments were maintaining that level of expenditure except where there was a BOCC desire to increase a line expenditure or where an improvement could not be postponed.
It needs to be emphasized that the CIP is in a formative state and the final product will be subject to commission input and approval. The MCTA is pleased and somewhat impressed with the fiscal discipline shown on the staff level. We will continue to watch the process for finalizing the CIP and the entire budget process as it enters the more political stage.
We would like to thank County Administrator Taryn Kryzda and her staff for the transparency and the help she gave us during the sessions and in compiling this report.