Mayor Eric Wilsusen presented the administration’s 10-year Strategic Capital Plan for the Municipality at its last council meeting.
“This is a first for our local government and a fulfillment of one of my many goals to improve the efficiency of our government. This plan will assist us going forward in the planning of large capital projects from critical infrastructure, to facilities, vehicles, and more,” Wilsusen said.
The plan is a non-binding guide and tool that outlines a capital spending plan, debt planning, and budget projections and demonstrates the township’s ability to fund capital projects into the future.
“This is a first of its kind for a municipality our size and am so pleased with how it turned out,” Wilsusen said. “I need to thank my former interim Business Administrator John Eskilson and his wife Marianne as well as Jon Reinhardt of Civitas, My Business Administrator Debra Millikin, our Chief Financial Officer Bill Eagen, and all of our department heads.”
All of the departments worked hard on this project as well,” said business administrator Debra Millikin. “We never would have been able to get this done if we didn’t have the buy-in of the department heads.”
Wilsusen urged residents to remember that this plan is not set in stone.
“Priorities change, things come up,” he said. “But this really captures the big-ticket items that can really harpoon your budget. For example, things like fire trucks. These are very expensive, and we have to plan for when we will purchase them. This lays a plan out for us.”
After the first five years of the plan, things could possibly change due to increasing costs, Millikin sad. “But we feel very confident about the first five years of the plan.”
Both Wilsusen and Millikin explained that the township is trying to avoid bringing in long term debt.
“We are trying to get to a point where we can pay as we go,” Wilsusen said. “This will include paying for things like roads, infrastructure, or vehicles. It’s not accounting for one-offs, like police addition, for example, something that is unanticipated, yet needed.
“This is a tremendous tool for planning and seeing where you are on the aspects of what you need plus what you want,” he added.
This has never been done. It’s the first time. Municipalities are required to have a six-year plan, but this is the first time we have gone above and beyond. For a town our size, we are one of the few in the state to have this,” Wilsusen said.
The plan, some 18 months in the making, is a working document.
“Every year, that we will add a new year to keep it a ten-year document,” Millikin said.
“It’s certainly not gospel,” Wilsusen said. “We are not held to it, especially if something unexpected comes up, but residents should feel comfortable as public officials to plan for our future.”
Click here to view the full presentation.