Capital Improvement Program

In the City of Pasadena, the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget process is managed by the Department of Public Works. This budget consists of projects aimed at improving the city’s public infrastructure such as streets, transportation issues, street lights, traffic signals, parks, public buildings, sewer and storm drains, the Rose Bowl, the Pasadena Center, technology and water and power projects.

Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Process

The development of the CIP budget is a collaborative process. Every year the Department of Public Works sends out a “Call for New Projects” which provides the City Council, Commission members and City employees with a formal means for submitting new project ideas. The projects ideas are then reviewed and prioritized for possible inclusion in the CIP.


To qualify for the CIP, a project must have a total estimated cost of at least $75,000 and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Addresses a particular safety issue.
  • Existing maintenance efforts are no longer satisfactory to keep a facility in good repair.
  • Existing facility is no longer adequate to meet the demand.

Once a project idea is submitted, it is reviewed by the Finance and Management Services Division staff for completeness and to insure it qualifies as a CIP project. It is then put into one of the 14 CIP categories.

CIP Categories:

  1. Municipal Buildings and Facilities
  2. Street and Streetscapes
  3. Street Lighting
  4. Street Lighting and Electrical System Undergrounding
  5. Transportation
  6. Parking
  7. Sewers and Storm Drains
  8. Rose Bowl Improvements
  9. Parks and Landscaping
  10. Arroyo Projects
  11. Pasadena Center Improvements
  12. Water System
  13. Electric System
  14. Technology Projects

Projects are then sent to the appropriate Department for review and comment. Department staff reviews each project and prioritize them as high, medium or low.

Next, each Department prepares a preliminary cost estimate for the construction or implementation of the high priority projects. After the project costs have been developed, the appropriate department recommends how the new project will be integrated with the projects that are already planned. A high priority new project may require the postponement of an existing project. The department then recommends a funding plan for each project based upon the priorities. This list is reviewed and approved by the City Manager.

Recommended Budget

A City Manager’s Recommended CIP budget is prepared and sent to the appropriate citizens’ commissions/committees for review and support. The citizen groups and the categories they review are listed below:

At each commission meeting, as well as the Finance Committee and City Council meetings, citizens are invited and encouraged to participate in the CIP process. Before any votes of support are taken, public comment is heard and considered.

The City Manager’s Recommended CIP Budget, along with the comments and suggested changes of the citizen groups, is then presented to the City Council’s Finance Committee. The Finance Committee reviews the City Manager’s Recommended CIP in detail, considers comments and recommendations from citizens’ commissions, and makes a final budget recommendation to the full City Council. The City Council holds a public hearing to review and discuss the City Manager’s Recommended CIP. At the conclusion of the public hearing the City Council votes to adopt a Capital Improvement Program.

CIP Call for Projects

The CIP Call for Projects has now ended. Please contact the Public Works Department directly if you have any additional questions.