Preston $1.7 million capital plan approved with low turnout

Preston — The $1.7 million, five-year capital improvements plan was approved by a 65-43 vote Tuesday with only 3.2 percent of voters turning out for the one-question ballot.

“It’s absolutely the lowest,” longtime Republican Registrar Parke Spicer said. “It’s pathetic.”

First Selectman Robert Congdon called it “pretty disappointing” that only 108 people voted in Tuesday’s referendum, with firetrucks and school buses and other town projects in the capital plan.

Town officials decided to separate the $1.7 million, five-year capital improvement plan from the regular budget process to speed up the bonding process for the capital plan along with a $2 million town bond for the cleanup of the Norwich Hospital property. Congdon said the Board of Selectmen will meet with the town’s bond counsel Thursday.

The capital budget included $750,000 for two new firetrucks, $110,000 for air conditioning for Preston Plains Middle School, $270,000 for three plow trucks and $275,000 for three school buses.

— Claire Bessette

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