Freeport cuts more than $250K from 2017 capital budget

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FREEPORT — The town’s five-year capital plan has been approved with a decrease of more than a quarter of a million dollars from last month’s proposal.

The Town Council unanimously approved and adopted the plan Tuesday night, with changes that amount to a reduction of almost $259,000 for fiscal year 2017. The capital budget for next year is $1.59 million.

The overall five-year plan will go down $93,800.

The Town Council also allotted $100,000 to the Tri-Town Track and Field Committee to help fund an artificial turf field at the high school. Town Councilor Sarah Tracy, who volunteers on the committee, made the suggestion in March after the committee requested funding. The estimated total cost of the project is $3.2 million. 

Other changes include a decrease of $20,000 in the cost of thermal imaging cameras for the Fire Department, $16,800 less for computer updates at the library, and deleting $100,000 intended for sidewalk improvements from Justin’s Way to Elm Street. The $100,000 was intended to match a grant the town sought, but didn’t receive.

Changes in other areas came from moving items from the fiscal 2017 capital plan to other years.

Paving part of the town’s Recycling Center for $30,000 has been moved to 2019. Using $90,000 to replace the highway building roof and $30,000 to replace streetlights with LEDs were both moved to the 2018 capital plan. And $90,000 to replace a loader for the solid waste department has been moved to fiscal year 2022.

Some costs increased, including $15,000 to refurbish an existing loader, $3,000 to replace a police vehicle, $5,000 to replace the bridge over Florida Lake, and $10,000 to develop a town cultural plan.

The Town Council is scheduled to discuss the operating budget on May 3 and 17, and approve it on June 7.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

Freeport Town Hall

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.