The Capital Improvements Program is a 15-year plan to fund capital projects that are selected based on a set of priorities and anticipated availability of funding. The program emphasizes maintenance projects at Town facilities, with the goal of addressing problems as they arise in order to avoid more costly repairs in the future. Some of the major projects include:
• Bolin Creek Greenway Phase III
• Library Expansion
• Sidewalk Construction
• Cemetery Improvements
• Aquatic Center (completed)
• Southern Community Park (completed)
• Town Operations Center (completed)
• Community Center Renovation (completed)
Major Revenue Sources
Capital Improvements Fund:
The Town’s Capital Improvements Fund provides funding for small and incremental projects. Annual transfers from the Town’s General Fund are typically the funding source for the Capital Improvements Fund.
2003 Bonds: In November 2003, voters approved $29.36 million in bonds. The bond projects are assigned to five individual categories as follows:
• Sidewalk and Streets ($5.6 million):
o $2.6 million for construction of sidewalks on the Town’s Sidewalk Priority List and for meeting the local match requirement for programmed State improvements
o $350,000 for improvements at pedestrian crossings
o $650,000 for neighborhood traffic calming and pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements such as speed humps and raised crosswalks and improved pedestrian and bicycle signage
o $2 million for downtown streetscape improvements consistent with the Downtown Streetscape Master Plan adopted by the Town Council in 1993
• Library Facilities ($16.26 million): For expansion of the Town Library on Library Drive
• Parks and Recreational Facilities ($5 million): For greenway construction projects
• Open Space and Areas ($2 million): For open space purchases
• Energy Efficiency Projects ($500,000): For energy efficiency improvements at public buildings and other Town facilities
Stormwater Management Funds
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: In February 2009 President Barack Obama signed the $790 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) into law. Town staff have been working hard to ensure that Chapel Hill residents receive direct benefits from these funds. Town Manager Roger L. Stancil has established an ARRA Oversight Committee to track grants and awards made under this program.
Stormwater Management: Fees provide funding for the Town’s Stormwater Management Department, including capital projects.
Parking Funds: Fees collected from Town-operated on-street and off-street parking areas provide funding for the Parking Services Department, including capital projects.
Orange County Parks and Recreation Bonds: In 1997 and 2001 voters approved a $6 million and a $20 million local bond, respectively, to purchase park land and to develop park facilities.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG): The Town receives annual federal grants from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Council approves a general 5-year spending plan to benefit lower-income neighborhoods, and adopts an annual budget for these funds by a capital projects ordinance.
Housing Capital Grant: In fiscal year 1993-94, the Town began receiving an annual entitlement for public housing renovations from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Federal Transit Administration (FTA): The FTA provides funds to Chapel Hill Transit through a legislative formula and discretionary authority. These funds require a 20 percent local match and are used for continuing operations and special projects such as new technology and acquisition of additional park and ride lots.
N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT): For most public transit projects, the Federal Transit Administration provides 80% funding and the NCDOT provides an additional 10% match. For the State’s thoroughfare, bikeways and pedestrian programs, the NCDOT funds projects selected from an annual Transportation Improvements Program in which local governments request that the State fund these types of projects in their community. Local requests are considered in a State-wide priority list. Projects are implemented by the NCDOT.
Gifts: Occasionally, citizens of Chapel Hill will provide the Town with contributions to be used toward a project for which the citizen holds a special interest.