Planning for capital spending is an educated guess at best. Cape Girardeau officials are putting together the annual update of the city's capital improvement plan for the next five years, as required by the city charter. The plan must be adopted by April 1.
Many of the items on the newest capital plan are dictated by funding sources. One of the major items in the plan covers the cost of new traffic signals funded by the city's share of fuel taxes. Another is a costly repair to the city's floodwall, which is covered by federal appropriations. Other major capital expenses for parks and storm-water improvements hinge on voter approval of a half-cent sales tax increase that will be on the ballot April 8. One major project included in the newest five-year plan is the Lewis and Clark Parkway, which will provide an outer road from Kingshighway north to the new I-55 interchange between Cape Girardeau and Jackson.
All of the projects on the five-year wish list are estimated to cost $165 million. Given the limited sources of funding, the city council is setting priorities to make the best use of whatever funding becomes available.
Cape Girardeau residents have a voice in this process. For example, various city agencies like the park board have given their recommendations to the city council. Residents can also contact their council members about projects important to them.