Public Input: City seeks citizens for CIP process

Public Works Director Sam Curran talks to members of the CIP committee during last year’s CIP process. The city is seeking citizens interested in participating in this year’s CIP process.

GARDEN CITY – The City of Garden City is seeking citizen input in the Capital Improvement Planning process, a system which helps guide elected officials and city management in budgeting and strategic planning.

The Capital Improvement Plan is an inventory of recommended and current projects and major capital purchases for the City. The projects, facilities, equipment and other items mapped out by the plan will support the functions and programs of the City for the next one to seven years.

Public Works Director Sam Curran said the City is seeking approximately 40 volunteers to serve on the CIP Committee.

“No expertise is needed to be a member of the committee, just an enthusiasm for Garden City and a few hours of availability this winter,” Curran said.

The mission of the CIP Committee is to provide input on the needs and wants of the community by recommending how City management and the governing body should prioritize CIP requests. The committee reviews the priority ranking given to each project identified in the planning document as well as the year in which the project is slated to be implemented.

A few of the CIP projects scheduled for 2019 include a $2.43 million project to improve Farmland Road from US-50/400 south to the railroad crossing, construction of a new $750,000 irrigation system in Valley View Cemetery and a $2.7 million project to reconstruct Eighth Street between Walnut Street and St. John Street.

Each year, citizens provide input on the CIP by participating in the Capital Improvement Planning Committee. A series of weekly meetings are held from November to February, which help the city organize the five year plan for potential capital improvement projects. Each session is devoted to a different group of topics. After hearing presentations, participants asked questions then ranked projects by how they viewed their importance.

Shannon Dick, FCEDC Strategic Analyst, talked about the CIP process during September’s FCEDC Board of Directors meeting. Dick assists the city with the process, using a modeling system that takes the input from the public to determine how projects rank in terms of importance and support, and projects are scored. The information is summarized and goes into consideration as the city plans its major projects.

“It is a good reflection of what the citizens think. And it’s not just one citizen that’s loud and gets their opinion heard and then they run with that,” Dick said.

Instead, a “conglomeration” of citizens provides input about individual projects and those ratings are used to create an internal story that allows officials to get a better idea of what’s important to the whole versus what’s not as important to the whole.

“If you know anybody who’s remotely interested in the city at all, and maybe has a little bit of time to spare, I know they’re looking for as many people as possible,” Dick said. “It’s important to have our citizens let the city know, let the city commission know, what projects are important and what projects are not important because that gives them confidence we’re going in the right direction.”

Lona DuVall, FCEDC president, said citizen input is vital to the process in terms of demonstrating public support, but the process also provides an educational aspect before citizens rank projects.

“They make sure the people who need to be there to answer questions are there, and those folks are taking part in the opportunity to explore those issues. You have to have people who want to participate and choosing to participate. It’s a great opportunity,” she said.

A series of seven committee meetings are scheduled to take place between November and February. Residents interested in serving on the committee should contact Rhonda Griffin at (620) 276-1260 or Rhonda.Griffin@Gardencityks.us.

Residents can also suggest projects to be included in the Capital Improvement Plan by completing and returning the Citizen Input Form mailed out with September utility bills. Citizens can also make suggestions via the City’s website, www.garden-city.org, the City’s Facebook or Twitter pages or by contacting Griffin before Nov. 1.