SOUTHWICK – The Capital Expenditures Committee is holding a meeting on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Southwick Town Hall.
Created as a result of a vote at the annual town meeting in May 1998, the Capital Expenditures Committee reviews the acquisition, construction, or repair to real or personal property in town. In order for the committee to review an item, it has to cost $25,000 or more with a life span of three or more years.
At Thursday’s meeting the committee will look at items from the preliminary budgets for the Fiscal Year 2019 that department heads are proposing that meet the criteria.
DPW Director Randy Brown will be meeting with the committee to discuss a number of items in his preliminary FY 19 budget.
Several of the DPW’s items over $25,000 Brown discussed with the Select Board on January 29 are paving projects, which include paving on Granville Road, Nicholson Hill Road, Robin Road, and South Loomis Street.
“It’s time to start putting money into our road network,” said Brown. “Patching potholes isn’t going to cut it anymore.”
Besides the paving, there’s also some drainage work and culvert replacement that Brown believes needs to be done. In the neighborhood of Cedar Street and Bonnieview Road, the budget proposes drainage replacement that’s estimated to cost $140,000. Brown notes that sinkholes are forming in that neighborhood, especially after heavy rain.
A culvert also needs to be replaced on Fred Jackson Road. This project had previously been designed six or seven years ago and is now estimated to cost $425,000.
Another item of over $25,000 in the DPW preliminary budget is a tractor with a mower attachment. Brown anticipates that piece of equipment will cost about $144,000.
Hearing these items on Thursday, the Capital Expenditures Committee’s role in the budget process is to watch how the budget is being spent. Made up of town officials from various town departments, the committee will take their suggestions and feedback of the items back to the Select Board and the Finance Committee, who make the ultimate decisions with the proposed budgets.