The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 6, 2009

FinCom looks at future capital outlays

“We’re not in great shape, but we’re not in terrible shape,” said Don Rober as he presented the FY10 recommendations of the Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee (LTCRC) to the Finance Committee (FinCom) on January 26. Virtually all the FY10 recommendations are for routine replacement of items used by town departments. Rober also noted there were several requests that did not make the cut, and pointed to looming expenses on the FY11 and FY12 horizons that could be a burden at a time the town is trying to fund the Carlisle School building project.

FY10 investments include schools, fire truck

An amount of $80,000 is reserved each year for replacement of computers at the Carlisle School. In FY10 another $20,000 is needed to replace network infrastructure. Rober noted that school computers are on a five-year replacement cycle, which has proved inadequate in the age of laptops, which break more frequently. Roof repairs on Spalding will be required each year until the building is replaced as part of the school project. These school needs, as well as replacements for the Fire Department generator, a police cruiser, and other items, are within the $239,000 levy limit budget. Several items at the Carlisle School, such as replacement of broken lockers, furniture and a dishwasher, were not funded, with the hope that fundraising organizations might step in.

Several other items are recommended for funding outside the levy-limit budget. The high school is requesting $225,000, including building improvements and Carlisle’s share of a planning study in preparation for a future building project. A $475,000 replacement for Fire Engine 6 is scheduled. Engine 6 is 25 years old and is used to service off-road sites such as forests. A DPW roll-off truck at $154,000 is recommended to replace one with 348,000 miles used at the Transfer Station.

An amount of $100,000 had previously been approved for cistern construction, and an additional $60,000 is being requested to allow the next phase of the cistern project at Town Hall to begin. It is hoped that cisterns planned for the school can be included in the school building project.

High school to need building investment soon

Looking forward, Rober noted a number of concerns. In FY11, the CCRSD projects a request of $459,000 as Carlisle’s share of a variety of building upgrades, including replacement air handlers, rooftop heating units, ventilation refurbishment and window wall replacement. The DPW is expected to request $435,000 for a sand and dump truck, a tractor with side mower and a sweeper. The Fire Department is requesting $135,000 for parking lot repaving, fire alarm controls and other equipment.

A few years down the road in FY12, if there is no building project in sight, the high school is scheduled for roof replacements and water pipe and electric upgrades of which Carlisle’s share would be $1,360,500. That is also the year the LTCRC expects the town will have to begin financing the Carlisle School building project. In total, the town could be looking to fund over $4 million in FY12 capital expenses, some portion of which may be reimbursable by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

FinCom Chair Dave Model thanked Rober and noted that if the Fincom puts all the recommended FY10 capital items on the Warrant for Town Meeting in May, the total cost to the town would be $1,153,000, not including interest. That represents 5% of the budget, and Model observed, “That number feels about right to me.”

Contacted later, Model noted that of the $4 million FY12 estimate, half is for the CPS building project, “MSBA would pay for part, and building projects are amortized over 20 years, which softens the impact of any single expenditure. Much of the rest is from the high school roof, which also will either be part of a new school building or in lieu of, and this decision is much larger than simply the cost of increased debt service.”

He adds, “One scenario has Carlisle absorbing an incremental $700,000 to $800,000 in increased assessment from the region in FY11 (see Mosquito, January 30) then dealing with higher capital expenses, as suggested by the above, in FY12/13. This makes it even more imperative that we reduce the base cost through solutions such as the CPS is exploring.” ∆

Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee

FY10 Recommendations

Budgeted Under Levy Limit

Carlisle School:

Technology replacements $100,000

Annual maintenance $25,000

Spalding roof repair $10,000

Fire Department

Generator replacement $35,000


Cruiser replacement $36,000

Boiler $13,000

Antenna at CPS $15,000

Town Hall

ADA requirements $5,000

Total $239,000

Concord-Carlisle HS (Carlisle share)

Auditorium curtain replacement $13,500

Main Office carpet, appointments $12,000

Bathroom partition replacement $30,000

Compressor Main replacements $10,500

L wing and band A/C $9,000

Fire alarm detection $75,000

Planning study $75,000

Total $225,000

Debt or Capital Exclusions

Town Hall cisterns $60,000

Fire Engine 6 replacement $475,000

DPW roll-off truck replacement $154,000

Total $689,000

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito