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April 7th Town Election: Frequently Asked Questions
What are Capital Projects?
Capital projects can be new construction, expansion, renovation, or replacement for an existing facility or facilities. The project must have a total cost of at least $10,000 over the life of the project. Project costs can include the cost of land, engineering, architectural planning, and contract services needed to complete the project. OR-

It is a purchase of major equipment (assets) costing $50,000 or more with a useful life of at least 10 years.  OR-

It is a major maintenance or rehabilitation project for existing facilities with a cost of $10,000 or more and an economic life of at least 10 years.

When was the last time the town meeting voted to fund infrastructural needs in a capital project?

The last large project the town funded was the middle school addition in 1996.  In the late 1980’s the renovation and addition to the town office building and police dept was funded.

What is the “operating budget?

The annual town operating budget handles all of the day-to-day expenses related to the staff and services provided by the various town departments.  It does not include capital projects or infrastructural upgrades to the community.

Does the town of East Bridgewater have a balanced budget?

Yes, due to the efforts of the Board of Selectmen, town administrator, finance committee and the entire financial team, our community has faired extremely well with a complete financial plan to keep us solvent during the last four difficult years.

Why create a Capital Projects Stabilization Fund?

The purpose of creating this fund is to provide a separate and stable revenue source specifically designated for capital and infrastructural projects only, while maintaining control of the capital stabilization fund by the citizens of the town through town meeting.   It cannot be used for raises or any other operating expenses of the town budget.

Why do we need an override?

This board of selectmen working cooperatively with other town boards, committees and dept heads, both past and present, along with input from citizens of the community, have recognized that the towns infrastructure, buildings, water distribution system, roads, etc., have not been adequately maintained and/or replaced in a manner consistent with the needs both present and future of our community. 

In an effort to definitively resolve these issues in a responsible and sustainable manner, this proposed Capital Stabilization Fund was identified as an appropriate tool for the purposes of meeting the needs mentioned.  The override may be the best method to address these needs in a manner that provides affordability, consistency, and financial stability as needed for a good bond rating for the community. 

How much will it cost on our taxes?

The average assessed value of a home in East Bridgewater is currently 370,000.  Based on that amount, an override of 1,250,000 would cost a homeowner approximately $262.00 per year or $.72 cents per day. 

Is this override tax deductible?

Yes, since an override is part of your tax bill, it is tax deductible.

Where will my money go?

All monies that are received from this override will be voted at each annual town meeting in article 2 to be designated directly into the capital stabilization fund.

How will fund spending be decided?

Any department with a capital project/infrastructural upgrade will first seek the approval of the capital improvements committee. It will be reviewed by the finance committee and put before the selectmen for a vote to be put on the warrant for town meeting. If the project is approved by the Capital Committee and a majority of the Board of Selectmen, it will then be presented as an article at town meeting.  If the townspeople support it, only then, will the project will be funded.

If the town does not vote for this override, what other options do we have to fund these projects?

 *   Individually funding projects at current interest rates as applied to bonding

 *   Not approving capital or infrastructural projects

 *   Low interest loans on a case-by-case basis if such loans are available

While the term override oftentimes has a negative connotation to the taxpayer, this conceptual Capital Stabilization Fund plan utilizing an override is projected to be a significantly more affordable and sustainable way to fund the infrastructural projects within the community. It is hoped that the citizens of our town will invest the time needed to understand this plan prior to voting on it.


 
Town of East Bridgewater, 175 Central Street, East Bridgewater, MA 02333-0386
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