East Lyme endorses town capital spending plan

East Lyme - The town approved by majority vote Monday a long-range capital plan to replace vehicles, upgrade technology and maintain several buildings.

The plan for 2014-15 includes projects, such as updating the town's harbor management plan, maintaining its vehicle acquisition program, painting the interior of the East Lyme Public Library, setting aside funding for the 2016 revaluation, continuing the schools' districtwide technology plan and repairing sprinklers at the community center and the 8 Capitol Drive building.

The $6,261,907 plan for next fiscal year, which calls for funding from the town and education budgets, grants, capital non-recurring fund and bonds, also factors in $500,000 from a Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant to install flood-resistant restrooms at Cini Park.

The roughly $60 million five-year plan, developed by a committee, outlines future funding requests, though some items serve as placeholders in later years, according to First Selectman Paul Formica. Items not included in the budget would require town approval process.

Potential projects for the future include installing transient moorings near the Niantic River, building a skateboard park and allocating funds for sidewalk repair, but those projects would need to be approved in later years.

The five-year capital plan was approved by majority vote at Monday's meeting, but several residents spoke about the need to curtail spending in town, especially in light of rising costs, or to find more creative ways to raise revenues.

The proposed budget was also on Monday's town meeting agenda but a vote was adjourned to a referendum, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 22, at the East Lyme Community Center on Society Road.

The 2014-15 overall budget, for both the town and school system, stands at $65,113,598, or 3.07 percent more than the current budget. The town budget is $22,320,831, or 5.13 percent more than the current budget, while the education budget is $42,792,767, representing a 2.03 percent increase.

k.drelich@theday.com

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