Information Services Parks Project Development Unit Public Works

Five Year Capital Improvement Plan FY 2023-28

The County of San Mateo’s Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a planning tool  designed to outline the County’s capital improvement needs over the next five years. The CIP summarizes the capital projects, projected expenditures, and funding sources for the plan.

The CIP supports the County Board of Supervisors’ goals to equitably meet the needs of all residents by providing safe, functional, accessible, and pleasing facilities in which to conduct County business and receive services. The continued development of capital infrastructure and facilities is essential to accommodate the County’s future growth and prosperity. The capital improvements identified in this CIP represent significant public investments to maintain, improve, and expand the infrastructure and facilities serving the residents of San Mateo County.

The CIP includes all County capital projects and provides an opportunity to holistically review project planning and coordination, to help ensure the County’s capital program is aligned with appropriate financing and implementation to meet the current and future needs of County residents. The CIP is intended for use in conjunction with the County Budget to ensure a fiscally responsible and efficient use of existing resources. The CIP represents a commitment to building a more resilient and vibrant future for residents, employees, and visitors in a fiscally responsible manner.

For purposes of the CIP, a capital project is defined as the purchase, construction, improvement, or replacement of major fixed assets such as land, buildings, or equipment. Additionally, capital projects may include:

  • Expenditures that occur over two or more years and require continuing appropriations beyond a single fiscal year
  • Systematic acquisitions that take place over an extended period of time
  • Scheduled replacement or maintenance of specific elements of physical assets

The projects listed in the CIP are managed and coordinated by Department of Public Works (DPW), the Information Services Department (ISD), the Parks Department, and the Project Development Unit (PDU) of the County Executive's Office. The process for developing the list of projects varies by department and is described in detail within each section below. Each department developed its portion of the capital plan through coordination with multiple stakeholders, including constituents, the Board of Supervisors, County executive staff, and other County departments.

Further information about the County’s capital improvement projects can be found on departmental webpages:

Capital Improvement Plan Expenditures and Funding Sources

The projects in this CIP total $765.3 million in FY 2023-24, $179.7 million in FY 2024-25, and a total of $1.2 billion over the full five years of the plan. The first two fiscal years of the CIP consist of budgeted expenditures that are included in the FY 2023-24 Adopted Budget and in the FY 2024-25 Preliminary Approved Budget. The projected expenditures shown for the remaining three fiscal years are included in the CIP for long-term project planning purposes but have not been appropriated and do not necessarily reflect a commitment of funds. Capital appropriations and priorities will need to be set for each two-year budget cycle. The table below summarizes the cost by year and by funding source:

Among the four departments represented in the CIP, the Project Development Unit has the largest share of total costs at $702.3 million.

Each project in this CIP has one or more identified funding source. The main sources are summarized as follows:

General Fund Non-Departmental contains general purpose revenues, including property tax, sales and use tax, Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), interest earnings, and overhead recovered from Non-General Fund departments through the 2 CFR Part 200 cost allocation plan. These revenues, along with Non-Departmental Fund Balance, are used to offset Net County Cost in General Fund departments. This budget unit also includes appropriations that benefit many or all departments such as countywide IT projects, facility repairs, capital improvement projects, and debt service payments. Funding major capital projects upfront through Non-Departmental Services reduces the administrative costs for the departments that occupy them.

Lease Revenue Bonds are issued by the San Mateo County Joint Powers Financing Authority (“JPFA”)  provide the debt financing necessary for several major capital projects. The bonds are limited obligations of the JPFA payable from, and secured by, JPFA revenues, consisting primarily of rental payments to be from the County under a lease. Projects financed with these kinds of bonds must be depreciable and are structured as secured leases of a public building or asset, and typically have a revenue-generating or reimbursement component, which helps to offset the debt service. Using bond financing for such projects allows the County to save General Fund dollars for capital projects that are non-revenue generating and/or that will depreciate more quickly. In June 2021, the JPFA issued a Series A lease revenue bond for approximately $155 million to finance the construction of the Cordilleras Mental Health Facility in Redwood City.

Departmental sources of funding for capital projects include departments’ Net County Cost allocation amounts and department reserves.

Measure K is the County’s half-cent sales tax. Originally passed by the voters in 2013 as a 10-year tax and extended in 2016 for an additional 20 years until 2043, Measure K typically generates approximately $90 million per year. Measure K funding is invested in a variety of capital and technology projects across the categories of Public Safety, Mental Health, Youth and Education, Housing and Homelessness, Parks and Environment, Older Adults and Veterans Services, and Community Services. Major Measure K capital investments include the Regional Operations Center (the single largest Measure K investment to date), which will serve as the County’s central hub for disaster response. Other Measure K capital investments include the renovation and construction of several County libraries and the development of SMC Public Wi-Fi.

Facility Surcharge Charge Fee are  fees  charged to departments that pay facility service charges through a service level agreement with the Department of Public Works. These charges provide an annual budget for facilities projects to keep County-owned building infrastructure in safe and operable condition and to maintain and extend the useful life of the facilities.

Grants/Donations include contributions from individuals or foundations for parks or other projects.

Debt Service Reserves are the funds set aside to be used to cover the payment of interest and principal on a loan or other debt  for a particular time period. Within the County budget, there are specific accounts that hold money in reserve for debt service payments. Long-term capital projects, for example, ground-up construction, may require bond-based financing to be completed. The debt service reserve accounts in the County budget are associated with the capital projects the debt funded.

Other/External capital project funding sources are primarily for Parks Department projects in this Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan and include funding from external trust funds and Quimby Act funds. The Quimby Act is a 1975 state law that authorizes a county, after making specified findings, to require a land subdivider, as a condition of filing a revised subdivision map, to “dedicate land or pay a fee in lieu of dedication for the purposes of ... acquiring, developing, or rehabilitating County park and recreation facilities.” The Quimby Act specifies that funds generated by Quimby Act funds are to be used at “neighborhood or community park[s] or recreational facilities."

Prop 172 is a state law that provides a dedicated revenue source for public safety purposes to counties. Prop 172 funding is used for capital projects related to public safety including emergency communications, radio, and technologies used by Sheriff's Deputies, first responders, and other emergency response personnel.

To Be Determined projects are required capital projects or phases of projects that are currently seeking full funding. These projects are in the proposed capital project budgets for FY 2024-25 and FY 2025-28. All projects in the FY 2023-24 Adopted Budget are fully funded.

All Capital projects are listed by substantive project category in the table below.

Click on a category name or rectangle in the tree map data visualization below to see projects and budgeted amounts by category

Download an Excel file of all projects and Adopted and proposed budget information