Town officials will seek approval from taxpayers to construct a new athletic field at and put a new roof on next year.
Those would cost about $3 million and $1 million, respectively.
In the following year, they may be back asking for permission to bond $5.5 million to build a new town .
Those numbers were revealed Wednesday at by the Board of Selectmen in the form of their five-year capital plan for expensive items, such as construction projects and road repairs.
All told, the plan shows spending totaling $40 million - $21 million of that would come from bond. The figure includes money for building repairs, resurfaced and reconstructed roads, new emergency vehicles and even a new animal shelter. Officials will hold a town meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at Town Hall to ask residents whether they should approve the capital plan.
Readers take note: just because the plan has been drafted, it doesn’t necessarily mean all of the projects included in it will be funded. The purpose of capital plans, which are typically drafted by town officials in all municipalities, is to draft what officials see as priorities for the town; taxpayers could eventually be asked at referendums whether they want to support funding the projects.
Two projects that have been debated for years in Oxford and are on the list include the athletic fields at the high school and the new library. The capital plan, released to the press by Finance Director Jim Hliva after Wednesday’s meeting, shows $5.5 million for a new library in fiscal year 2013-14. The plan also shows athletic fields for the high school but that is the only line item that does not show a total amount; it simply says “note 1” and that note indicates the town wants to try to get a field proposal before voters this year.
First Selectman George Temple and Selectman Jeff Haney, Republican running mates who both have sons who play football and other sports at the high school, said they hope to have a turf field project completed in time for the student-athletes to play on it in the fall. Haney says he has come up with a plan for the project, the finalized details of which he has yet to present to the public, which will be much cheaper than a proposal drafted over the span of a year by the New Oxford School Planning and Building Committee. Haney is expected to ask taxpayers to fund $3 million for the field project, and it appears Temple is inclined to go with his plan over that of the NOSPBC.
Haney would not confirm the $3 million number after Wednesday’s meeting; he said he plans to have a town meeting about his field proposal in the near future and that he will have all of his plans finalized in a few days. Hliva said Wednesday the town is looking for developers who can complete field projects. He said the town is part of a consortium of local towns that allows it to seek and hire developers without going through a typical bid process.
Several other projects considered
It also appears from the capital plan proposal that selectmen and school board members want to put major renovations into Oxford Center School over the next five years. The total amount selectmen want to pump into that building - which Board of Education facilities subcommittee Chairwoman Amy Cote said has outlived its functionality as an educational facility - is $18 million. A majority of that, $17.79 million, would be spent in FY 2014-15. Of that, $7.9 million would pay for an addition to the school; $4.29 million would go toward repairs of structural deficiencies; $3.3 million would replace mechanical systems; and $1.3 million would fix code violations. Several other expenditures are included in the Center School proposal.
Some of the other highlights from the capital plan include:
- $5.3 million over five years for paving and drainage in town
- $2.6 million to complete reconstruction of Christian Street in fiscal years 2012-13 and 2013-14;
- $1.8 million for upgrades at Great Oak Middle School over five years;
- $1 million for FY 2012-13 to put a new roof on Quaker Farms School – a total of $1.47 million for that school over five years;
- $1.4 million for a new fire pumper truck over five years;
- $550,000 for a pump station at Technology Park in FY 2013-14;
- $500,000 for an ambulance building addition for FY 2013-14;
- $495,000 over five years for a new ambulance;
- $400,000 for oil tank replacement;
- $230,000 in FY 2012-13 for a new fire tanker truck;
- $150,000 for the dog pound in FY 2012-13.