Citing the Town's "A+" credit rating and steady finances, Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. forwarded an extensive $2.52 million-dollar capital and infrastructure proposal to the Board of Finance for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
Maturo explained, "Since resuming office in 2011, we've rebuilt our credit rating from "BBB+" to "A+." Since we can now borrow money for infrastructure improvements at far more advantageous rates than we could six years ago, I have forwarded a $2.52 million-dollar capital proposal to the Board of Finance that includes funding for forty (40) new projects for the 2017-2018 fiscal year."
The 2017-2018 Capital Improvement Plan submitted by the Mayor includes generous allocations for large-scale measures like road paving ($500,000.00), new police vehicles ($150,000.00), new and upgraded public works equipment ($201,000.00), and a new fire truck ($625,000.00). It also includes allocations for smaller programs like maintenance of the Farm River ($25,000.00), playground improvements at Tuttle School ($25,000.00), and town-wide sidewalk repair ($50,000.00).
Maturo continued, "My proposed $2.52 million-dollar capital program requires no increase in taxes this fiscal year. In fact, with scheduled debt payments this November, our long-term debt will stand at $23.09 million dollars even with this proposal, which represents a reduction of 48% from the staggering $48.10 million dollars in debt the Town maintained just six years ago."
Town records indicate that capital programs between 2012 and 2015 ranged from $794,000 to $1.57 million dollars. Following the Town's historic, two-tier credit rating upgrade in 2016 from "A-" to "A+" in 2016, the Town enacted a $2.45 million-dollar capital program. The Mayor's proposed $2.52 million-dollar 2017 program represents the largest infrastructure endeavor by the Town since Maturo resumed office in 2011.
Maturo noted, "Capital programs between 2012 and 2015 were certainly more conservative, as my team and I made it a priority to balance our budgets and rebuild our rainy day fund, which we has now been restored from just $200,000 dollars in 2011 to a healthy $4.9 million dollars. Now that we have achieved the minimum level recommended for our rainy day fund by rating agencies like Standard and Poor's, we can afford to roll-out more extensive programs like the one I am proposing."
Maturo concluded, "Especially in light of the State's fiscal crisis, I am incredibly proud that we were able to pass the 2017-2018 budget with no tax increase and, at the same time, roll out this far-reaching capital and infrastructure proposal. The proposed improvements will help expand the services we provide our residents, improve our efficiency performing the work we already do, and will directly improve residents' quality of life. As a result, I encourage our Board of Finance and Town Council to review and pass this measure quickly so that we can get to work making and pursuing the improvements in my proposed capital plan."