March 29, 2012 Capital Improvement Committee

March 29, 2012 Capital Improvement Committee

Postby Mary Wright » Sun May 13, 2012 1:32 pm

March 29, 2012

A meeting of the Capital Improvement Committee (CIC) was held on March 29, 2012 in the Municipal Center Resource Room. Mr. Gonynor called the meeting to order at 2:10 PM.

PRESENT: Don Gonynor (Chairman), Paula Brouillette, Mark Dunleavy (Vice-Chairman), Ellie Chesebrough, Shirley Mosczynski, Nancy Lane, Mike Guzinski (Town Administrator)

Revenue Estimates for Fiscal Year 2013
Mr. Guzinski stated that the financial situation for next year does not look good due to lack of new growth, lack of increases in local receipts, minimal increases in state aid and additional costs coming in. The only avenue for the Committee to look at for funding is the stabilization account. When looking at articles to place on the warrant, he recommends limiting to only the most critical items.
Ms. Lane stated that they are losing grants and the state has mandated increases in the budget. Together that adds up to a shortfall of over $887,000. The Operating Budget shows a hike in excluded debt services from $1.9 to $3.2 million. That excluded debt is driving the school construction. The Town’s share of the school project is $30 million. The numbers in the Operating Budget are estimates.
Ms. Chesebrough asked if some of the exempt debt could be retired if it comes in under budget. Mr. Guzinski said it needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis and he will have Ms. Lovett come in and address that question. There are different types of bonds and the payment schedule depends on what was decided when the bond was taken.
Approximately $1.2 million is in the stabilization account.

Capital Project Requests Rating
At the last meeting, it was decided to rate the projects regardless of whether or not there were funds for them.
The Committee reviewed the Capital Improvement Committee Rating Form and rated each item based on department priority, useful life, operating/maintenance costs, effect on Town revenue and whether or not there may be grant funding available. The Building Maintenance pick-up truck will not pass its next inspection. The Highway Dept. dump truck is the oldest vehicle on the list and has been taken out of commission.
The $75,000 for the bathroom upgrade at the primary school will come from money left over from the high school project. It will not come out of the stabilization fund.
The CIC has not reviewed the Library Project. There was discussion at a prior meeting about rating large debt projects separately. Mr. Guzinski suggested holding off on rating the Library and Safety Complex for a month or two in order to develop a different rating chart for large building projects. Ms. Mosczynski stated that there is no definite price for the Safety Complex so it is not fair to rate it. Mr. Gonynor stated that there are committees still working diligently on the Library and Safety Complex projects and therefore to rate them and recommend them now would be a propos. However, in order to put them into the plan for the Town Meeting, they need to be rated now. Mr. Guzinski stated that it was not his intention for those projects to be excluded from the Capital Plan, but if they are not going to be on this Annual Town Meeting warrant, then is it necessary to rate them now or can it wait until a better system is developed? Mr. Gonynor said large building projects should be in a separate plan from day-to-day items going into Town Meeting. If the Board of Selectmen decides to put the Library Project or Safety Complex on the Town Meeting for debt exclusion, then the CIC’s input should be included at that time. Ms. Mosczynski stated that the Permanent Building Committee did recommend unanimously that the Library Project move forward.
Ms. Brouillette has been working with Mr. Guzinski and Ms. Lovett to see which projects are dropping off in the next few years. This information will be used to look at debt projects, like the Library Projects.
Mr. Guzinski stated that the article needs to be wrapped up today. The Capital Plan needs to be completed by April 8, 2012. The Capital Plan goes out to 2016 – a five-year plan. Mr. Gonynor recommends rating the Library Project because it is ready to move forward. Ms. Brouillette said that it cannot be on this article. If the library is rated as the number one project, the ability to fund it does not exist. Mr. Gonynor feels it deserves a number, and it would go at the top of the list for the debt exclusion projects.
The Financial Dept. financial software upgrade is not mandatory now, but may be in the near future.
The Finance Committee and the Police Chief would like to see the Police Dept.’s request for new vehicles moved from their Operating Budget and included as part of the Capital Plan. Historically, the leasing for the cruisers has come out of the Operating Budget. Mr. Guzinski is looking to get out of leasing and is looking into short-term borrowing at $55,000 per year for four years. All of the cruisers are over 100,000 miles and the operating costs for them are increasing.
Mr. Gonynor spoke about leasing vs. borrowing for the cruisers. Years ago, leasing was built into the Operating Budget for the reason that they could not afford to buy new cruisers. The point of leasing was to guarantee at least one new cruiser in the fleet every year. By not leasing, they are taking the chance that they will not get funding. He feels that moving away from the lease would be taking a step backwards. The CIC has never rated cruisers before.
Mr. Gonynor stated that moving forward, they should ask the departments when they make their requests if there are grants available that they can apply for.
Even though the financial software is rated less than the pick-up trucks, the committee feels it should have a higher rating. It should be their number one priority due to the increased revenue potential.
Mr. Dunleavy asked if all the vehicles could be put into one bond. Mr. Guzinski will look into that. You do not want the bond to outlive the vehicle. He does not want to drain the stabilization account.
Mr. Gonynor stated that by getting a Highway Dept. pick-up truck, a one-ton dump truck is freed up to plow.
Mr. Gonynor asked what would be a safe amount of money to remove from stabilization. Mr. Guzinski estimated $130,000-$150,000.
Ms. Chesebrough recommends that the price of the Building Maintenance Dept. pick up truck be reduced to the price of a used truck.

Discussion: Capital Improvement Committee Article for Annual Town Meeting Warrant
Mr. Guzinski stated that the Committee needs to reach a decision as to which items will be on the article. Anything that is being considered for funding should be on the article. The $75,00 for the school bathroom is available. The trucks were ranked the highest. The $163,000 for the highway truck is not doable. Mr. Guzinski is concerned about the Police Dept. cruisers. If they are not included on the article, then it will have to be reviewed from an operational standpoint, and there is no guarantee that all the vehicles would be included in the operational budget. The cruisers were not in their operational budget last year.
The top five ranked items are: the two pick-up trucks, the financial software, the Highway Dept. truck and the school bathroom, which is already paid for. Mr. Guzinski said that there is still time to scale this list back. At this point, the only way to fund these projects, other than the school bathroom, is with the stabilization fund, but that decision does not need to be made today.
Ms. Mosczynski made a motion to place the following top five items on the article for the Annual Town Meeting Warrant: the Building Maintenance pick-up truck, the Highway Dept. pick-up truck, the bathroom upgrade at the primary school, the Highway Dept. dump truck and the Financial Dept. financial software upgrade. Mr. Dunleavy seconded the motion. Vote-Unanimous.

Approval of the minutes of February 29, 2012 was deferred to the next meeting.

Other Business
Ms. Brouillette would like to have a meeting before the Town Meeting to discuss debt projects. The next meeting will be April 25, 2012, 2:00 PM.

Ms. Mosczynski made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:54 PM. Mr. Dunleavy seconded the motion. Vote-Unanimous.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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