Public owners are challenged by limited and constrained capital sources
for acquiring and sustaining infrastructure facilities. They also
generally lack supporting automation tools and techniques for analyzing
capital investment and project execution decisions, elucidating the
impact of these decisions in a holistic manner, and leveraging
alternative delivery methods and financing means for competitive
advantage. An automated decision support system in development at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides an integrated planning
framework for public owners and engineers to confront these issues. The
system, called CHOICES, models life cycle cash flows of capital projects
using variable delivery methods and finance options and aggregates them
with forecasted operating revenues and expenses at a portfolio level.
This paper describes the application of CHOICES to a municipality in
Massachusetts. Capital program scenarios were developed using pace of
execution and alternate funding sources as primary considerations.
Development and analyses of the scenarios suggest that the current
municipal environment hinders local infrastructure management and
procurement. This is a first-order problem; its solution is likely to
outweigh the choice of project delivery for many municipal governments,
and it forces municipalities to consider a wide array of alternatives
for fulfilling local requirements.
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