Friday, December 12, 2003
Shorts from the FinCom, Dec. 2
• CCHS renovation delayed. RSC Chair Mike Fitzgerald reported "The likelihood we'll go to Town Meeting in the spring is minimal." He cited "competing capital projects," noting a Concord committee has recommended putting off high school construction to 2011 to give priority to elementary schools in that town. He added, "There is no hope of any SBA money" from the state. The school committee expects to present a design plan at the Spring 2005 Town Meeting in the hope construction can begin in 2006.
• Ambulance fund. A vote was taken to recommend transferring fees yearly from the ambulance fund to the fire department's operating budget to offset the cost of ambulance operations as they occur. The fees are collected primarily from insurance companies and the fund has amassed $107,000. If left alone, it would collect $250,000 by year eight of the life of the current ambulance, when a new ambulance may be needed. A new ambulance, fully outfitted, is expected to cost $180,000. Other funds collecting fees will also be reviewed.
• Revenue enhancement. A recom-mendation will be made to the Selectmen to explore three revenue enhancement opportunities: a cell phone tower on town land, a municipal electric company, and a tax on real estate transactions. Ray Wilkes said he was"100% against the flip tax" on real estate calling it "predatory on seniors" because it will lower home values. Bret Bero countered that lower property taxes would allow seniors to stay in town longer. The tax would require a vote of the state legislature.
© 2003 The