Lyndeborough board OKs capital improvement plan

LYNDEBOROUGH – A new pumper for the Fire Department is among the items contained in a capital improvement plan approved by the Planning Board.

The five-year plan, which was prepared by a subcommittee in conjunction with the Budget Committee, was presented to the board Thursday night by Budget Committee Chairman Burton Reynolds.

While the plan projects out to the year 2010, it is updated and revised yearly. It covers all of the town’s capital expenses including fire trucks, highway equipment and town buildings.

The idea, Reynolds said, “is to keep annual capital expenses fairly even, preventing spikes and surprises.”

The average yearly expenditure for capital reserve accounts is about $455,000. That much can be approved each year without affecting the tax rate.

Changes this year include the purchase of the pumper for the Fire Department, a purchase it had hoped to put off for another year or two.

“They say the truck is in really bad shape,” he said.

Reynolds said the expense will be offset because the Fire Department has determined it does not need to build a new station for the truck.

“They have looked around and have found companies willing to make equipment that will fit,” he said.

In addition, he said, the department is talking with a truck company about the possibility of building the truck for Lyndeborough and then using it as a demonstration model for some months, reducing the cost to the town.

Reynolds also mentioned the possibility of the Police Department keeping the cruiser that will be replaced next spring.

The department would like to do that, he said, “but they have to realize that when (the old cruiser) starts costing more than it is worth, it has to go.”

The new estimate for the proposed addition to the library is $365,000, with the town committed to providing 60 percent. So far, $167,000 has been put into the reserve account.

Library Trustee Bob Rogers said the trustees are embarking on a fund-raising campaign, looking into grants and other funding.

Replacement of the Gulf Road bridge, which is said to be in very poor condition, has been put off until 2009 because of the lack of state funds for such projects.

Items on the capital improvement list with ongoing capital reserve accounts will appear on the town warrant. Reynolds said the state allows similar accounts, such as all the highway trucks, to be lumped together in one fund, but “I think people like to see them all.”

“That way, they can vote down one item if they choose without affecting items they support,” he said.