The City of Boulder's Capital Improvement Program is a six-year plan for physical improvements to public infrastructure.

The CIP provides a forecast of funds available for capital projects and identifies all planned capital improvement projects and their estimated costs over the six-year period. Allocations are made according to the Operating and CIP Budget Guiding Principles.

The first year's program in the CIP is adopted by the City Council as the Capital Budget, as a counterpart to the annual Operating Budget. Although fiscal resources are appropriated only in the first year of the CIP, the succeeding five years of the CIP are important in providing a longer-term plan for setting spending priorities, scheduling projects in a logical sequence, and coordinating and targeting capital improvement projects for all city departments.

Annual Capital Improvement Program

The 2021-2026 CIP is impacted by the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. With goals of flattening the curve and protecting lives, city facility closures began March 13, 2020 and state and local stay-at-home and safer-at-home orders followed. This caused a shock to many of the city’s revenue sources including sales and use tax, accommodations tax, admissions tax, licenses, permits, fees and charges for services including recreation fees and parking fees. In fact, staff has seen nearly 70% or revenue sources impacted. University of Colorado economists predict the recession will last three to five years before some city revenue sources recover to pre-COVID levels.

With that revenue picture, the proposed 2021-2026 CIP has just under $81 million recommended for 2021, and approximately $675 million is recommended for project allocations for years 2021-2026. The 2021 proposed CIP is lower than anticipated at this time last year based on timing of large utility projects that have been pushed to 2021/2022. Therefore, the proposed CIP is slightly lower than the 2020 Approved CIP ($85.6 million). It is important to remember that, unlike an operating budget, the capital budget may significantly fluctuate between years due to timing of projects and availability of funding. Several large 2021 capital projects include:

The CIP is an essential implementation tool for carrying out the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan's policies of orderly and efficient provision of urban facilities and services. The Comprehensive Plan provides for the phased growth of the city, with annexation to occur only when the full range of urban services is available.

Get Involved in the CIP Planning Process

Planning Board

The Capital Improvement Program planning process includes reviews by advisory boards and commissions and public hearings on proposed capital budgets through June of each year.

The Planning Board held a public hearing on July 20, and City Council reviewed the draft on Aug. 8.

City Council