More than $2.5 billion in proposed capital projects were submitted to the state Capital Planning Advisory Board for review last week. The proposals were submitted by eight state government entities seeking funding for capital projects over the next six-year period.
The Board is tentatively scheduled to complete its review of all state agency capital plans in July. Those plans will then be used to develop a proposed Six-Year Statewide Capital Improvements Plan, as required by state law, and submitted to the heads of the three branches of government by November 1. The Board is scheduled to meet in September to approval the final plan.
The two largest capital plans reviewed last week were submitted by the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet and the School Facilities Construction Commission (SFCC). Combined, two plans combined represent a total of $1.29 million in project requests. The Cabinet’s capital plan contained $717 million in proposed capital projects, and SFCC’s capital plan contained $675 million in proposed projects.
Most of the Cabinet’s funding would go toward maintenance, renovation, replacement, or expansion of facilities and three large non-maintenance projects for the 2014-2016 biennium, according to Cabinet finance official Tim Pollard. Those non-maintenance projects include a $180 million renovation of the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, $35 million for expansion of the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, and demolition and replacement of old Cardinal Stadium with a 70,000 square foot warehouse at a cost of $15 million.
Pollard told the Board that the Cabinet’s capital plan is “first and foremost focused on the maintenance of existing infrastructure,” including maintenance of Kentucky’s state parks.
The School Facilities Construction Commission’s plan includes $675 million in proposed projects (known as Offers of Assistance) to help local school districts meet their construction needs. Commission Executive Director Dr. Bob Tarvin said his agency’s plan includes two major funding initiatives: SFCC Regular Offers of Assistance, offered to schools with unmet facility needs, and the SFCC Urgent Need School Trust Fund, targeted funding for what Dr. Tarvin called “the worst facilities in our state.”
The Kentucky General Assembly authorized $65.4 million in bonds for the Urgent Need School Trust Fund in the 2010-2012 Executive Budget for thirteen Category Five projects in twelve school districts.
The remaining agency capital plans reviewed by the Board last week include: $436.9 million in projects proposed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services; $351.1 million in projects proposed by the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; $129.8 million in projects proposed by the Transportation Cabinet; $90 million in proposed projects from the Economic Development Cabinet; $59.3 million in projects proposed by the Kentucky River Authority; and $42 million in projects proposed by the Department for Local Government.
Any project that will be submitted in an agency capital budget request to the Kentucky General Assembly for budget authorization is required to be submitted in an agency capital plan to the Board. Most plans are from Cabinets and agencies of the Executive Branch, including postsecondary education institutions, according to the Legislative Research Commission, which administers the Board.
The Capital Planning Advisory Board is comprised of both legislative and non-legislative members and is co-chaired by Sen. Stan Humphries, R-Cadiz, and Rep. Terry Mills, D-Lebanon. The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 26.