ABSTRACT

Capital expenditures—that is, capital outlays for public improvements—are important in determining the direction and the degree of community development. Now more than ever decision makers find themselves facing conflicting demands for the use of scarce financial resources. Thus, they have to decide whether to extend infrastructure to a rapidly developing area, to rehabilitate infrastructure in older established neighborhoods, or to upgrade information technologies to be more efficient and effective in the delivery of its services (Robinson, 1991). Decisions about capital expenditures are made while putting together the capital budget. The capital budget itself is the current slice of a multiyear program of improvements, yet even though each capital expenditure involves sizable sums of public funds, all too often such expenditures are discussed as unrelated, individual items rather than integrated components of the total community structure (Levitan and Byrne, 1983:585).