Plan of future projects, city investments receives positive recommendation

The Midland Planning Commission unanimously approved sending the Capital Improvement Plan, which defines projects and funding sources for the next six years, to City Council during a brief meeting Tuesday night at City Hall. 

The 2023-2028 Capital Improvement Plan was first introduced to the planning commission at its previous meeting on Feb. 14. The presentation illustrated the budgets for each city department and a list of what projects would receive the funds. 

City Director of Planning and Community Development Jacob Kain explained that the purpose of the Capital Improvement Plan is to identify the needs of the community and where the funds for those projects will come from. The plan will also aid the planning commission as it goes through the Master Plan process. 

Kain also noted that the plan’s elements have been “significantly expanded” compared to past years. In past years, the plan was divided into eight categories. This year, 16 more specific categories have been added to the original eight. 

“This is really the first time in the city’s history that we’ve had one planned document that provides a comprehensive snapshot of all of our capital needs and all of our intentions for capital investment moving forward the next six years, so we think that’s really important,” Kain said. 
The capital thresholds have also changed with this year’s plan, with increases for both capital purchases and infrastructure assets. The thresholds are now $15,000 per item for capital purchases and $50,000 for infrastructure assets. Kain said the increases were necessary because prices and the cost of construction have increased. 

Kain said in “broad terms,” the plan represents potential investments in infrastructure and capital assets of more than $59 million in the next year and more than $222 million in the next six years. 

“If anyone is wondering where their tax dollars are going, about $59 million of investment is taking place in their community on capital projects just in the next year,” Kain said. 

Kain explained that next year’s Capital Improvement Plan will provide more details about how much money will go towards individual projects within the categories and where the money is coming from.

When next year’s plan is compiled, the city by then should have a newly adopted Master Plan, which could help with more specific planning of projects and funding.

Various city department directors were present at Tuesday’s meeting to answer questions from the commissioners or from the public, but there were no comments or questions.

Later this week, projects from the plan will be included in the Map My Midland tool available on the city’s website. This map can be used to see where investments are being made throughout the city. 

“I like the direction this is going,” said Commissioner Greg Mayville. “It’s a more inclusive, bigger view. We’ve talked about this in the past, and I’m glad to see that this year.”

The commission had no other items on its agenda for the meeting. Kain reminded the commission that the Master Plan public surveys close on March 1 and the results from the surveys will be presented to the commission during a special meeting on March 21.

Kain also reminded the commission that they will have meetings two weeks in a row on March 14 and March 21, as opposed to the typical second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.

Tuesday’s meeting was adjourned after just 22 minutes.