CIP and Biennial Budget Underway

Development of Mill Creek’s Capital Improvement Plan and Biennial Budget Underway
Posted on 09/20/2018
An image citing the City's CIP and BudgetDevelopment of the City of Mill Creek’s 2019-2024 capital improvement plan and 2019-2020 biennial budget is now underway. The process is extensive over the next several months and residents are encouraged to participate in the process.

Capital improvements are major projects requiring the expenditure of public funds over and above routine operating expenses. A capital project is defined as new, replacement of, or improvements to infrastructure (e.g., buildings, roads, parks) that has a minimum life expectancy of five years and a minimum cost of $25,000. The CIP programs public facility improvements over the next six years. Project design, land acquisition and construction costs, as well as the projected means of financing these costs, are an integral component of the CIP. The first two years of the 2019‐2024 CIP are designed to be incorporated into the City’s 2019-2020 biennial budget.

“The CIP development is a financially constrained process,” said Gina Hortillosa, the City’s public works and development services director. “Only projects that have secured funding will be programmed in the CIP.”

The City has been soliciting public input for the CIP over the course of the last biennium. People have provided and continue to submit feedback through the City’s citizen response form:

“We also have been soliciting project ideas through our regular interactions with our boards and commissions, local focus groups, community and business association meetings, and residents,” said Joni Kirk, director of communications and marketing.

An overview of capital improvement planning is online at When the draft 2019-2024 CIP is developed, it also will be publicly posted on the site.

Simultaneously, development of the City’s biennial budget is underway. This is a two-year document that identifies the City’s planned expenses and revenue, along with activities to take place that support the City’s strategic objectives. The budget includes personnel costs and annual facility operating costs. It is funded primarily through local property and sales taxes; licenses, such as building and development fees; franchise fees for a company’s use of the City’s rights-of-way; charges for services, such as recreation fees; and other smaller sources of revenue such as interest on investments.

The budget development process began in early 2018 with strategic visioning sessions by the City Council to identify long-term strategies to achieve each of the City goals. This summer, Interim City Manager Bob Stowe refined the strategies to identify the most critical priorities and needs of the City for the upcoming two-year budget period. These Desired Budget Outcomes became key drivers in planning and developing the 2019-2020 budget. Information about the City’s budget development process is online at

The budget process includes several key dates that the public should know:
  • Oct. 2: The City Council will review preliminary revenue and expense projections.
  • Nov. 1: The City Manager will submit his recommended balanced biennial budget.
  • Nov. 6: A public hearing will take place on the preliminary budget and any proposed property tax levy.
  • Nov. 13: A public hearing will take place on the preliminary budget and anticipated Surface Water Utility rate increase.
  • Nov. 27: The Council will discuss the preliminary budget.
  • Dec. 4: The final public hearing will take place and Council is tentatively slated to adopt the 2019-2020 budget.