Capital Improvement Program Committee
Public Hearing Minutes 7:00 pm, October 15, 2009
Members present: Brian Boyer, Lisa Drouse, Doug Hall, Richard Moore
Members Absent: Matt Cole
Four members of the public attended.
Chairman Doug Hall opened the public hearing at 7:03 pm.
He and committee members presented a brief overview of the committee’s draft report, answered questions, and had a dialog among themselves and the public regarding certain points in the report.
These particular points/questions were raised and discussed:
• All departments should be seeking non-tax funds to pay for capital projects, not just Parks and Recreation, Library, and School.
• The committee’s statement that it rejected all new projects is incorrect as it did recommend the Emergency Response Plan project of the school district.
• The committee’s recommendations result in 90% of the tax-paid capital project expenditures over the next 10 years being for roads. Some view this as unfair and unbalanced, that other town needs are also important.
• Members of the public, when polled, were split on an appropriate average annual level of capital expenditure for the town: two felt that about $250,000 per year was ok and two felt that it should be about $200,000 per year. This contrasts with the committee majority’s recommendation of $250,000-$300,000 per year.
Committee members discussed the problem it faced with submitted highway projects encompassing reconstructing or repaving an entire road from one end to another, rather than smaller projects. There was discussion of the possible need to change the charge of the Road Advisory Committee to accomplish this as they are currently charged with prioritizing whole roads. The Selectmen will have to consider whether to make such a change.
A suggestion was made that in the future each department head be given a capital budget maximum to submit as part of the CIP process. Another suggestion was that a budget maximum be given to the Highway Department to separate it from the other needs but that the other departments be given some leeway in their submissions.
Some discussion related to the need to inform the voters on the choices that the town faces regarding the competition for funds between highways and other capital needs. A summary of the committee’s final report could be included in the annual Town Report. as it was last year. In addition, it was suggested that the committee be asked to brief the voters at Town Meeting in regard to capital requests and its recommendations.
The chairman asked each committee member to prepare any suggested revisions, additions, to the draft report in advance of the next committee meeting. Any such suggestion should be circulated to all committee members by email.
The chairman closed the hearing at 9:15pm.
The next meetings of the committee will be:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 7:00pm at Town Hall
The agenda will be to discuss and act on any suggested changes to the draft report and then to take a vote on the final report.