Litchfield’s Board of Selectmen has approved a recommended capital improvements budget of $2,737,826 for 2020-21, thereby completing the first stage of the municipal budget process.
Selectmen endorsed the recommendation of the capital improvements committee on Feb. 4. The recommended budget becomes part of the proposed town budget for 2020-21.
Proposed budgets of the boards of selectmen and education are in the works as the budget process begins to unfold.
In adopting the recommended capital budget, selectmen restored $44,000 to the request of the Parks and Recreation Department. Of the amount, $34,000 will be used on the basketball court at Community Field, above, and $10,000 for new boat docks at the town beach on Bantam Lake.
The capital improvements committee had removed the $44,000 request due to a lack of information. But the request was clarified for the selectmen in time to be restored.
More than $3.3 million in requests were entertained by the committee while it completed its job in December and January. The committee set a goal of a recommended budget of $3 million, but at its final meeting cut more than $500,000 to bring the budget well under the $3 million it has roughly been for the past few years.
The recommended budget includes $2,135,826 for the public works department, $268,000 for the Board of Fire Commissioners and Emergency Medical Services, $190,000 for the Board of Education, $144,000 for the Parks and Recreation Department and $15,000 for the assessor’s office.
The recommended budget gives the Board of Fire Commissioners and Emergency Medical Services $100,000 for a new ambulance for the Bantam Fire Company, $100,000 for refurbishment of the Litchfield Fire Company ladder truck, and $68,000 for a new roof at the East Litchfield firehouse.
Parks and recreation gets $100,000 for the Bantam River outlet dam replacement in addition to the $34,000 for the basketball court and $10,000 for the new docks.
The Board of Education’s allotment is for new flooring at Center School and new sidewalks at the intermediate school, high school and middle school campus on Plumb Hill Road. The $15,000 for the assessor’s office would be used to upgrade technology.
The capital improvement budget’s cost is covered by a combination of bonding, or borrowed money, and cash.