By Keith Regan, Community Reporter
NorthboroughVoters at Town Meeting later this month will be asked to approve $4.19 million in capital projects for the coming fiscal year, as the town takes the next step in its rolling, six-year capital improvement plan.
All of the projects will be funded without a direct tax increase, Town Administrator John Coderre noted, with $2.19 million in general capital projects funded with free cash and other dedicated revenue sources. Other projects will be funded through ambulance fees and water and sewer assessments, Coderre said as he presented the capital budget to the Board of Selectmen April 14.
Topping the current crop of projects is the $688,000 replacement of the fire department’s Engine Number 2 and the $325,000 replacement of a culvert on Otis Street that has kept that road closed since last summer.
The fire department is also seeking $45,000 to replace all of its self-contained breathing apparatus tanks, while the police department is seeking to replace two cruisers and the central dispatch control console, which is well over 20 years old. Equipment purchases for the Department of Public Works will mainly replace aging equipment, investments that were long deferred in that department, Coderre said.
The Planning Department will also ask for $130,000 for an updated Master Plan and Parks and Recreation Department is seeking $50,000 to cover the cost of materials for work to be done to the gazebo and pavilion at Ellsworth McAfee Parkwork itself will be donated by Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School students.
The capital budget plan has been unanimously supported by the Financial Planning Committee and the Appropriations Committee.
Coderre has worked to have the town fund more projects without bonding against future taxes, something he said not only keeps taxes from climbing but also helps work to be done faster.
“We don’t have to wait around for bond proceeds and reviews from bond counsel, we can get right to work on projects,” he said.
Since fiscal year 2012, the town has authorized more than $9.5 million worth of capital investments without bonding, he said.