Aldermen OK $12m in bonds for work

NASHUA – City infrastructure is poised for what many say is a long-overdue facelift after the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday approved borrowing a total of $12 million.

The money comes in the form of two bonds that aldermen approved in separate votes: one for $7.5 million to replace the city’s pre-DOS computer software system, and the other for $4.5 million to renovate five city-owned buildings.

Both votes needed approval from nine members, or two-thirds of the 13 board members present at the meeting.

In casting the lone vote against the building bond, Alderman-at-Large David Deane said the plan was too vague.

“I just think that we need more of a comprehensive plan of what the scope of the project is going to be,” Deane said.

But Ward 2 Alderman Richard LaRose said it would be irresponsible for the board not to approve repairs that are badly needed.

“We cannot continuously put all of our maintenance on the back burner,” LaRose said.

“We are managers of taxpayers’ dollars. But we are also managers of their property,” he said.

The building bond would cover work at City Hall, the two downtown parking garages, the public health building on Mulberry Street, the Hunt Library and the 14 Court St. theater.

City officials have already earmarked $1.4 million in cash partly for energy-related work at City Hall, including replacing the heating and air-conditioning system, windows, lighting and doors.

In the other bond, proponents said the Enterprise Resource Planning computer system would bring the various functions of the city under one computer system. The current system is outdated and prone to crashing and other problems, city officials said.

Deane and Ward 7 Alderman Richard Flynn voted against the $7.5 million bond.

Most of the money would be for technical services, noted Alderman-at-Large Fred Teeboom, who made an unsuccessful motion to lower the bond amount by $1 million.