Posted in Budgets, Community, General, Town of Colchester

Special Article Up for Vote: Should the Town Expand the Uses for the Existing Capital Equipment Plan?

One of the special articles coming up soon for vote by Australian ballot concerns proposed changes to the Town of Colchester’s Capital Equipment Plan.

At Town Meeting in March, voters will be asked to authorize a change to the Capital Equipment Plan to allow approximately $30,000 of annual program funds to be made available for repairs to Town facilities.

Here is a Summary of the Issue and the Problem

  • The Town operates a total of fifteen public facilities valued at approximately $11 million.
  • The Town does not have a capital plan to address significant facility repairs.

What is the Proposed Solution?

The Town asks the voters to authorize the reallocation of approximately $30,000 per year of existing funds from the Town’s Capital Equipment Plan to annual facility repair needs.


What is the Anticipated Outcome?

  • No effect to Town budget
  • No effect to Town tax rate
  • Public’s investment into Town facilities is preserved and protected

What is the Background?

The Town’s fifteen public facilities—with an estimated value of approximately $11 million—include the police station, the rescue building, the Public Works maintenance facility, and the Town Offices, as well as the Colchester Meeting House and the Burnham Memorial Library, among others. Currently, however, the Town does not have a capital plan to address significant facility repair and replacement needs, such as roofs, heating systems, exterior siding, carpeting, painting, and other major building repair needs. While there is currently a total of $87,000 budgeted for the maintenance of these facilities, the majority of these funds are allocated toward preventative maintenance tasks with only about $18,000 associated with actual repairs.

To address this need without impacting current service delivery or the overall tax rate, an in-depth evaluation of the Town’s existing Capital Equipment Plan has been completed, and it has been determined that, through extending the service life of some Town equipment and making adjustments to projected resale values and inflationary rates, approximately $30,000 per year could be freed up from this program to reallocate to critical public facility repair needs.

The Capital Equipment Plan was reauthorized by the voters in 2012 at a rate of $0.019 per $100 of assessed valuation. It funds the replacement of critical Town vehicles, such as police cars, ambulances, plow trucks, and other important Town equipment. The program costs the owner of a $300,000 home about $57 per year.

At Town Meeting in March, voters will be asked to authorize a change to the Capital Equipment Plan to allow approximately $30,000 of these annual program funds to be made available for repairs to Town facilities. As mentioned above, approving this change will have no effect on the Town’s budget or tax rate. It will, however, ensure that the Town’s public facilities—and the investment citizens have made in these facilities—will be adequately cared for into the future.

For additional information, please contact Town Manager Dawn Francis at (802) 264-5500, or e-mail her at dfrancis@colchestervt.gov.

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