CP Committee says failed referendum items still critical
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Feb. 1, 2013
In last November's referendum, South Windsor voters may have approved schools and roads, but summarily rejected such items as building improvements and IT equipment. According to the Capital Projects Committee, rejected or not, those items are still needed. “Even though they didn't pass, they're still critical,” said Capital Projects Committee Chair Janice Snyder.
The committee, a subcommittee of the Town Council, is preparing to present a plan to the Town Council to complete those critical projects, to be financed by the Capital Projects budget. The items are broken down into three groups, to be completed over the course of the next three fiscal years. This would take the edge off the $4.9 million net price tag, with $1,173,000 to be spent in FY 2013-14; $2,003,000 in FY 2014-15; and $1,715,000 in FY 2015-16.
Ranked by urgency, first-year projects include a new generator at the high school, which is the town's emergency shelter, and one at the community center, which is the backup emergency shelter. “It's critical that both of these places have the appropriate generator systems to run during an emergency,” said Snyder.
A project entitled “Little League Shack Renovation,” ranking fifth on the list and priced at $100,000, may seem like a luxury item among the first-year projects. But Snyder defends the urgency of this project, saying that the shack really is “a shack.” “It's heavily used from spring all the way to fall,” she said. “It needs to be renovated to make sure it's safe and ADA accessible.”
The top item on the list, which will span all three years and cost a total of $643,000, is town-wide IT equipment. Snyder was quick to point out that this bundle is more than upgrading Microsoft Office on town computers – it encompasses all the technology that town and police staff use to perform their services. “If the IT equipment fails and doesn't work, the town can't do anything,” she said.
“Even though these items were on referendum and didn't pass, they are critical and need to get done in town anyway,” said Snyder. “So our town government needs to somehow find the money to fund these so our infrastructure and buildings don't continue to get worse.”
Snyder hopes to present the project list to the Town Council by the second week of March at the latest.