Town Commissioners opted against considering a formal capital improvement plan during the conclusion of a mid-year planning retreat Wednesday afternoon.
Finance Director Butch Kay admitted the cost of the $7 million, 5-year plan could cause some sticker shock for commissioners, but he said formalizing the plan was not a commitment by the town to spend the money, but a way for commissioners and staff alike to keep up with the town’s most expensive needs – large equipment purchases and infrastructure projects.
Kay told commissioners each department had had contributed to the list and that he and Town Manager Teresa Piner had not excluded any items from the list, though they did prioritize them by including some costs in the first year of the plan, but holding expenses for the out years.
Commissioners also questioned the need for some items included in the plan, including brining equipment used to pre-treat roadways ahead of winter storms and fiber optic cable that would be run throughout downtown to allow businesses to hook on and gain faster, more reliable Internet access.
As presented, the biggest chunk of capital expenditures would be in the police department, where projects worth $1.9 million were included. The first year of the program would include just over $1.7 million in expenditures. Year 2 of the plan would have been the most expensive with just over $2 million in projects identified. If commissioners had pursued the plan, it would have been updated on an annual basis.
Kay said commissioners could choose not to adopt a formal capital improvement plan, but that staff would maintain the list and use it as a guide during budget season.