Voters to decide fate of proposed loan

A town meeting will be held June 14 at Beacon Hose Company No. 1 to vote on a proposed 10-year, $1.14 million loan.


BEACON FALLS — Residents will soon have the chance to cast another deciding vote on the town’s economical future.

A town meeting will be held June 14 at Beacon Hose Company No. 1 to vote on the Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen’s recommendation for the town to enter into a 10-year, $1.14 million loan.

The loan, which First Selectman Gerard Smith calls “crucial,” was designed to work in tandem with the 2012-13 budget, which has already passed.

“The budget works most effectively with the loan attached,” Smith said.

The purpose of this loan is to cover the large ticket items that both boards felt were too expensive to put into the budget. The loan will give the town 10 years to pay off these items.

The loan includes money for road repairs, the streetscape project, public safety equipment and improvements and sewer projects.

If all the items in the loan were placed into the 2012-13 budget, the budget would have increase by 18 percent, officials previously said.

If the town pays the minimum on the loan during the 2013-14 fiscal year’s budget, it would cost the town approximately $120,000. This would be offset by the $28,000 that the town has included in the 2012-13 budget towards the loan.

The vote comes two weeks after the mill rate was set at 31.10.

However, this loan includes items some feel that the town would be hard pressed to get by without.

“We’re kidding ourselves if we think we can continue to put off and put off and put off,” said former Selectman Len D’Amico about the loan during the town meeting for the budget.

Since the loan encompasses so many items, it has been broken down into five resolutions. The town will vote on each of these resolutions separately.

“Each one is separate and apart but they work together as a whole,” Smith said.

Smith explained if the resolutions fail to pass the town would not try to modify them and bring them before the public again. Since many of the resolutions are connected, Smith explained that if too many fail to pass, the whole loan might be negated.

Smith said to pay for the items in the loan the town is obligated to pay for, if they fail, he would have to find money from somewhere else. A couple of the obligations that the town is required to fulfill are paying for the work done on Blackberry Hill Road and on the streetscape project. The problem is, he noted, that there is no extra money in the budget.

“We would have to cut services to fulfill those obligations that need to fulfill,” Smith said.

The first resolution totals $206,700 and includes the streetscape improvements along Main Street and the instillation of guard rails and reconstruction of portions of Blackberry Hill Road

The second resolution totals $294,356 and includes a Lifepack defibrillator for the fire department, the refurbishment of the ambulance, and the acquisition and instillation of a radio system for the fire department.

The third resolution totals $427,660 and includes the acquisition and instillation of a sewage treatment flow meter for the Pinesbridge Road flow meter and the acquisition of an eight-inch in-trailer mounted pump with accessories for use by the Water Pollution Control Authority.

The fourth resolution totals $61,034 and includes the acquisition and instillation of financial software for the Town Hall and finance department computer systems and the acquisition and instillation of hardware upgrades of the Town Hall computer systems

The final resolution totals $152,450 and includes the acquisition of a dump truck and related equipment and the acquisition of a loader and related equipment.

“All those items that are in the questions are capital projects for the town. I would encourage all residents to vote yes for all 5 questions,” Smith said.