A June 25 referendum will give Ansonia voters the opportunity to approve a $4.9 million bond package needed for municipal projects.
Aldermanic President Eugene Sharkey during a meeting May 6 asked his board to urge voters to support the bond referendum because he said the work is necessary and would only get more expensive if it is delayed.
He said it is coming at an opportune time as well. Ongoing debt retirement will reduce debt payments so that the new debt won’t require any additional taxes as of the 2015-16 budget year.
“This is a good thing, it’s affordable and it needs to be done,” Sharkey said.
Originally, the referendum was targeted for June 11, but Sharkey said a 45-day notice period is required, which pushed the date back two weeks.
Both board votes, one to approve the text of the referendum question and the other to approve an explanatory text, passed unanimously.
The referendum authorizing the sale of bonds “not exceeding $4,926,815” includes $525,000 for school security upgrades, but that amount might be reduced depending on how much aid for local school security is approved by the state Legislature this spring.
State Rep. Linda Gentile said it is still too early in the state budget process to know how much money might be allocated to Ansonia, or for what purposes.
The bond package will also pay for:
- $717,000 for improvements at police headquarters
- $430,000 for the Ansonia Nature Center
- $420,000 for property acquisition for a future Police Department expansion
- $166,815 for improvements at Ansonia Library
- $175,000 for roof repairs at City Hall, Eagle Hose and the Armory
- $299,000 for improvements at Nolan Field
- $133,000 for road improvements
- $66,000 for ARMS energy conservation work;
- $300,000 for handicapped accessibility and other work at the Armory
- $325,000 for a vehicle for Public Works and the WPCA
- $350,000 for a parking lot on West Main Street
- $255,000 for improvements at the transfer station
- $15,000 for an oil tank removal
- $230,000 for ARMS roof structural repairs
- $320,000 for land acquisition on Olson Drive
- $200,000 for the Riverwalk.
Sharkey noted that some of the work planned at the Armory, the police station and the library will improve their energy efficiency and provide savings on energy costs in future city budgets.
Comments by other aldermen supported the bond authorization.
“Everything on this list is going to last 20 years,” which justifies financing it with the sale of 20-year bonds, said Alderman Joan Radin.
Alderman Charles Stowe questioned the roof replacement for the ARMS building, since the roof was installed in 2001, only 12 years ago. He asked if it wasn’t covered by a contractor’s warranty?
Unfortunately not, according to city officials, who said that additional work at that time on the roof voided the warranty. This winter’s big blizzard caused additional damage making repairs an immediate priority, they said.
Stowe was also unhappy that the board took so little time to review the package of projects.
“I agree with this, I’m a proponent of it, but I don’t like how fast it happened,” he said.