The Wisconsin Legislature is considering a bill that will provide an incentive for school districts to approve a 10-year capital improvement plan. The bill, as currently proposed, will create new language under State Statutes 20.255 - Appropriations and Budget Management for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and new language under State Statutes 120.137 - Long-Term Capital Improvement Trust Fund. If the bill is passed, DPI will provide a 50% match to contributions that school districts make to Fund 46 for a capital improvement project included in the district's approved long-term capital improvement plan. This legislation encourages school districts to take an intentional long-term look ahead at their capital improvement needs and formulate a worthwhile plan with this significant financial incentive.

The long-term plan can be revised by the School District by Board vote. However, the legislation is looking to reward those school districts that develop a well thought out capital improvement plan that will ultimately reduce the school district's chances of having to increase their levy limit. According to the proposed legislation, the matching funds provided to a school district's long-term fund for the previous ten years will have to be returned to DPI if the school district passes a resolution to increase the district's levy limit for operations or capital improvements.

Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. has extensive experience preparing short and long-term capital improvement plans for exterior infrastructure for its clients. For example, we have experts who can evaluate the condition of your pavements and develop a short-term maintenance plan to extend pavement life while at the same time develop a long-term plan to rehabilitate or replace those pavements. The same can be said for underground utilities, exterior lighting and drainage. If you are deferring exterior site maintenance or in need of prioritizing a growing number of facilities' needs and would like to develop a plan to manage those expenses, then now may be the best time to prepare a long-range capital improvement plan for your school sites. Having this plan in place is a prerequisite for the matching fund incentives under the proposed legislation discussed above.

Contact Andy Petersen for more information.

About the Author

Anothony D. Peterson, P.E.

Anthony D. Peterson, P.E. 
Senior Project Manager

Andy's experience includes managing projects through planning, design and construction phases. Andy has successfully completed projects that include elements such as site grading, erosion control, traffic control, water main extensions, sanitary sewer extensions, sanitary force mains, storm water collection and detention facilities, hydraulic modeling, parking lots, pavements, pavement markings and site restoration. 

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