Tackling capital and infrastructure

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In recent months, the Capital Program Priority Advisory Committee (CPPAC) has been meeting to formulate a multi-year plan to address what the boards view as their greatest priority capital needs. The focus is on the next five years as we look to balance potential expenditures with operating budget needs and the revenue picture. CPPAC uses a computer-planning model to help assess the potential financial impact of introducing capital over time to meet those prioritized needs. It is a useful tool in assessing how and when to bring them forward for approval from the boards and the voters.

Over the next three years two factors will help to better handle any capital expenditures. Existing debt service will decrease by about $700K in each of the three years, and the grand list will grow a little more than it has been tracking in recent years as the Copper Brook home development in the center and the project across from Floydville Road come on line. The greatest threat to the fiscal picture going forward, for Granby or any town in Connecticut, is what the state does to statutory and other aid grants to the municipalities.

The three key projects under review currently are a bridge replacement plan, a solar field to reduce energy consumption and cost, and a school project that primarily meets program needs left unaddressed when the high school was renovated and expanded nearly 20 years ago. Roof and HVAC unit replacements at the two elementary schools are also under review. In all three cases there are grant moneys and reimbursement funding formulas that are key to analyzing the net cost to the town. In all three cases there are future operating costs that will be less than they would be if the projects were not undertaken. Even with the overall planning in place, each project has to follow a vetting process by the boards and the public before voter approval is sought. More information will be forthcoming as the process unfolds over the next few months.