Five-year capital draft plan heads to board
NEW CANAAN — Though the five-year capital plan is just a roadmap, it also looks like a Christmas wish list from town departments.
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said the five-year plan would serve as a guideline for the town’s boards and is required by the state in order to plan for available grants.
Chief Financial Officer Sandra Dennies and Budget Director Lunda Asmani said though some of the numbers go up and down every year — the 2019-20 year has $17 million in requests while the 2021-22 year goes down to $9 million — these don’t have direct budgetary implications. The board of selectmen approved the five-year capital plan at its Oct. 9 meeting.
“We take in requests from departments and see the bond council to determine what requests are bondable,” Dennies said. “It doesn’t indicate that this will all be bonded, it needs to go through the board of finance and they determine the way forward.”
One of the more notable items is the amount of money requested to be allocated for the Waveny House renovations — $1.5 million for every year beginning in 2020 until 2023.
“My plan is to appoint a new committee of architects to determine what should be our strategy for Waveny House,” Moynihan said. “(The $6 million figure) is just a plug figure.”
Moynihan floated the idea of appointing a committee of architects to recommend future renovations to what has been dubbed the “crown jewel of New Canaan.”
There is a Waveny House Renovation Advisory committee discussing the placement of a birdcage-style elevator in the building, as well as making it accessible to handicapped visitors. A $1 million appropriation was made for the current fiscal year.
Democrat Selectman Kit Devereaux didn’t hide her concern from some of the items in the capital draft.
“I will go on the record with saying that I am definitely not in agreement with some of the stuff here,” Devereaux said. “For instance, $6 million toward Waveny is more than I would like to see go there.”
Another big budget item requested is a rescue truck replacement for the Fire Department, coming in at a cost of half a million dollars.
Republican Selectman Nick Williams echoed Devereaux’s thoughts, saying this was a “starting point,” but by the time budget season comes everything gets paired back bit by bit.
The board of finance has scheduled a special meeting for Oct. 23 to discuss the plan. If approved, the draft plan will then go on to the town council.