Capital Improvement Plan

An image of a playgroundMill Creek uses a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to program improvements to the city's transportation, storm water, facilities, and park infrastructure. The CIP is updated through a public process every two years prior to the biennial budget preparation. Citizen requests for repairs, projects, or improvements can be made at any time, although may not be incorporated until a later date.

CIP Status - Summer 2018
The City is 35 years old and at the point where infrastructure improvements are becoming a regular occurrence. This includes storm water pipes, sidewalks, roadways, refreshing City parks and more. As the City plans carefully for the work that will occur in the next year, the next five to 10 years and beyond, it needs to be very deliberate in prioritizing and funding such projects.

Our significant goals for 2018 are to plan strategically for the next five, 10 and 20 years. A Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is an important tool for planning and managing the City’s growth and development. This starts with developing a long-term financial forecast, identifying infrastructure improvements and development opportunities, and creating a vision for Mill Creek’s future in light of Snohomish County’s extraordinary growth (the second fastest growth in the nation). With that information, and with ample opportunity for public input, we will develop a realistic CIP.

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 $10,000. Many of these projects have long-term implications: they will have impacts on the operating budget or they are interconnected with other projects planned in the City. For planning purposes, it is necessary to discuss and consider projects and their operational and funding impacts in the context of more than one year. A long-term outlook provides an idea of what infrastructure needs may exist in the near future. If Council and staff anticipate that certain expensive projects will be necessary in the coming years, they can begin planning and budgeting for them now, rather than being caught by surprise when the project is desperately needed and there is limited time to consider options.

Such a CIP requires great forethought. As the City matures, its infrastructure is beginning to age and needs repairs and/or replacement, as we are experiencing with stormwater pipes. Other projects include system improvements, such as the work on 35th Avenue SE to not simply repair the roadway, but ensure it doesn’t flood by reconstructing the roadway through the wetland area. We also must look at capacity-increasing projects. The City is impacted by significant growth immediately outside its boundaries; these are people who use Mill Creek roads, shop in our stores, and enjoy City amenities. Therefore, some of the projects in the CIP must meet increased demand – both for the short term and for years to come.

Developing a CIP requires us to prioritize the work and ensure we will have funding for each project. As part of this process, the City will continually seek budget efficiencies and find alternate funding sources, such as grants, to maximize funds available to accomplish CIP projects. The CIP is a very participative process, so look for forthcoming information and plan to be involved.

CIP Elements
Pavement Preservation Program
The City of Mill Creek has 106 lane miles within city limits, which is about 875,000 square yards of pavement. The typical life expectancy of original pavement is about 30 to 40 years. City streets currently range in age from 10 years to 40 years. As pavement begins to deteriorate, the deterioration rate is not constant. While pavement holds up for most of its life expectancy, as it nears the end of its life, pavement life quickly deteriorates. The general concept of pavement preservation is that as pavement deteriorates, intervention is done at the proper time with some type of surface treatment that returns it to a like-new condition and extends the pavement life. The City's goal is to intervene before roads deteriorate in order to preserve City infrastructure.

Current Projects Out to Bid
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