Budgeting season has begun, and the Laramie City Council has started working through each facet of its multi-million-dollar budget in a series of work sessions, which began Tuesday. Most of the Council’s time will be spent studying the different projects, programs and assets receiving a piece of the $70 million in the Capital Investment and Construction Plan for Fiscal Years 2020-2022.
“About 45 percent of the $70 million will go to governmental funds for infrastructure, which is primarily street system improvements and stormwater improvements,” City Manager Janine Jordan explained to Council during its Tuesday work session. “Then that 55 percent of that 70 million will be in enterprise activities of water, sewer and solid waste.”
Jordan said each fund and department has “dozens of projects,” including routine maintenance, like upkeep for streets and sewers, and other, bigger projects like buying new capital management software for administrative staff.
City staff prioritized how to allocate funds based on a variety of different factors, including sequence with other projects, potential external partnerships, safety concerns, heaviness of use and planning for future city growth and development. According to the plan overview, each project was evaluated heavily by city staff independently and in the city’s overall infrastructure improvement plant to determine priority level.
The Council has had two of the five budgetary work sessions so far, reviewing funding allocations for enterprise funds, including water and solid waste management, as well as general fund projects. The general fund encompasses a lot of city projects, including public works projects like resurfacing part of Ivinson Street or funds for the Parks and Recreation department to make improvements to city parks to comply with standards from the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In future work sessions in April and May, the Council and city staff will discuss funding allocations from the specific purpose tax, fee-for-service partners like the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance and the overall budget.