This assignment is worth 8 points and is due on Monday, Nov. 11 by 11:55pm ET. Find the capital improvement plan (CIP) for your local water utility or wastewater utility (pick either one – you don’t need to do both). If you go to the utility’s website, it may be in the Capital Planning/Improvement section, the Planning/Budget Department, or possibly the Finance Department. Or it may be in your local municipality’s budget/finance section. You may try searching for keywords like “Capital Improvement Plan” or “Capital Budget” on the utility/municipal website. CIPs are usually for multiple years – a five-year CIP is pretty common. Look through the summary sections to get an overview of the amount of spending anticipated for major categories (e.g., treatment, distribution, facilities). CIPs usually have a 1-page description for each project (including a picture, highlights, location, description of work, funds/costs, etc.) — this usually takes up the second half of the document — take a look at a few of the pages, but focus more on the other materials so as to keep an eye on the bigger picture (i.e., don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees). Tell me which utility you selected, and what years the CIP covers. Based on your review of your chosen utility’s CIP, discuss the following: (1) Describe your initial reactions to the capital improvement plan. For example, is it eye-opening? Had you realized how much (or how little) municipalities and utilities plan for such infrastructure upkeep? (2) Provide a brief summary of highlights and trends regarding past expenditures and anticipated spending. Has spending slowed down over the past few years? Why or why not? Is spending expected to increase in the next few years? Why or why not? [Depending on when the CIP was published, the document may or may not be up-to-date regarding such trends.] (3) Given the limited resources of a municipality to spend on water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure, what are some of the factors (internal and external to the city) that could make it more challenging for these utilities to execute their plans? Are there things that could favor the likelihood of water, wastewater, and stormwater capital projects surviving budget cuts? If so, what are they?