Municipal Capital Project Review Begins, 2022 Proposals Unchanged
With only a few changes other than cost figures from the plan presented a year ago, the Board of Selectmen reviewed the 2022-26 capital improvement plan (CIP) at a September 9 meeting. The board is expected to further discuss and possibly approve the plan at its September 20 meeting.
First Selectman Dan Rosenthal said that there were some “modest changes” to the cost of some fire apparatus, but for the most part there were few changes from the previous year. The 2022-23 part of the plan will slide into year one and the year six 2026-27 plans from the ten-year plan will slide into year five.
“There’s not much groundbreaking here,” said Rosenthal. “Everything in year one is essentially what was already there.”
The plan under consideration is the town side of the CIP; the Board of Education (BOE) side is reviewed by the BOE and submitted to the Board of Finance (BOF) separately from the Board of Selectmen’s CIP. Once the BOF has reviewed both elements of the CIP, they are presented to the Legislative Council for final approval.
Rosenthal offered some clarification around the proposed demolition of buildings on the Fairfield Hills campus after a local daily paper and several radio stations reported as if “the wrecking ball was showing up next week.” The proposed spending for the demolitions would have to go to voters for approval, and any demolition would likely not happen before April of next year.
“None of this is final,” Rosenthal said. “The [demolitions] have been in the CIP for years. It’s not a groundbreaking revelation.”
There are demolitions in the plan for multiple years at $2 million per year so the cost does not come all at once, but Rosenthal stated that the full proposed plan would go to the voters all at once instead of coming to them piecemeal.
He also said that Winn Development, the contractor the town is working with to decide which buildings to demolish, has mainly pointed to the Shelton and Kent buildings as the main candidates for demolition, but also under consideration are Cochrane, Plymouth, Norwalk and Stamford, the “buildings toward Two Mile Hill Road.”
“It’s in the public interest to have some of these buildings down instead of letting them come down on their own due to decay,” said Rosenthal, who noted that none of them are in imminent risk of collapsing, but it “could happen eventually.”
The plan shows, for Year One, capital road program spending of $3,000,000, with $250,000 bonded; a bridge replacement program of $400,000, all bonded; the replacement of fire apparatus at $500,000, all bonded; the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial, $1.7 million, with $600,000 bonded and $1.1 million coming from the state; the cleanup of 28A Glen Road, $650,000, all bonded; town match of grants at $200,000; Fairfield Hills building remediation and demolition, $2 million, all bonded; Edmond Town Hall parking lot improvements at $550,000, all bonded; and library renovations, replacements, and upgrades of $550,000, all bonded.
The total for 2022-23 is $9.55 million in spending, with $5.25 million of that bonded.
For the year 2023-24, which would become Year Two two of the new plan, the town is planning capital road program spending of $3.05 million; a bridge replacement program of $400,000, all bonded; multipurpose building electrical/mechanical/HVAC work of $413,000, all bonded; a Municipal Center roof remediation and replacement of $1 million, all bonded; the replacement of fire apparatus at $1.085 million, with $800,000 bonded; town match of grants of $200,000; library renovations, replacements, and upgrades of $831,000, all bonded; Fairfield Hills building remediation and demolition, $1.5 million, all bonded; and Lake Lillinonah park improvements of $500,000.
The total for 2023-24 is $8.979 million, with $4.944 million of that bonded.
For the year 2024-25, which would become Year Three, the town is only planning to include capital road program spending of $3.1 million; $50,000 for a truck washing station; and town match of grants of $200,000.
The total for 2024-25 is $3.35 million, with no bonding. Rosenthal said the town’s government bodies elected to take that year off from any new bonding costs.
For the year 2025-26, which is Year Four of the new plan, the town plans to include capital road program spending of $3.15 million; bridge replacement spending of $400,000, all bonded; the replacement of fire apparatus for $800,000, all bonded; Fairfield Hills building remediation and demolition, $2 million, all bonded; Truck Washing Station of $550,000, all bonded; Public Works site and salt storage improvements, $50,000; Edmond Town Hall building renovations of $550,000, all bonded; town match of grants, $200,000. Treadwell artificial turf and lighting at $800,000, with $250,000 bonded and $550,000 coming from other sources; and the rail trail project at Batchelder Park for $1.4 million, with the entire cost coming from grants.
The total for 2025-26 is $9.9 million, with $4.55 million in new bonding.
Lastly, the current year six, 2026-27, in the ten-year plan moves up to Year Five of the five-year plan, and will include capital road program spending of $3.2 million; town match of grants, $200,000; Public Works site and salt storage improvements of $600,000, all bonded; Fairfield Hills building remediation and demolition, $2 million, all bonded; transfer station improvements of $400,000, all bonded; the replacement of fire apparatus, $820,000, all bonded; the bridge replacement program, $400,000, all bonded; and Fairfield Hills water infrastructure, $750,000, all bonded.
The total for 2026-27 is $8.37 million, with $4.22 million in new bonding.
Reporter Jim Taylor can be reached at email@example.com.