Lincoln Mayor Don Wesely said a new Infrastructure Financing Study that begins today will help determine how the community will pay for providing services in expanding parts of the city. The study is a joint effort of the city Public Works and Utilities Department, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission and Duncan Associates, a consulting firm based in Austin, Texas.
"New development means new streets, new sewers, new water mains, new electrical service and new areas to provide parks, libraries, fire service and police protection," Mayor Wesely said. "Providing and maintaining that infrastructure is expensive. We need guidelines to determine who pays for this growth and what our funding options are. At the same time, we need to maintain and improve our services in the existing city."
The purpose of the study is to:
The study is part of the effort to develop a new Comprehensive Plan for the city. The current plan states that new revenue sources will be explored "to help finance capital improvements based on a theory that those who obtain a benefit help pay to the degree benefitted."
The Mayor, City Council and County Board will appoint a nine-member citizen task force to assist in the completion of the study. A public presentation is tentatively planned for August, with public meetings in the fall. The study is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Duncan Associates has conducted about 60 similar studies nationwide as well as other growth management studies. The firm's contract with the city is for a maximum of $154,600. Public Environmental Finance Associates of Washington, D.C. is also assisting in the study.