A Town meeting on the upcoming capital projects referendum will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012.
The meeting is designed to provide information on the two projects that will go to voters on Nov. 6 — the track, multi-use field and parking lot improvements at Canton High School and partial roof replacement and repair at the Canton Community Center and all three schools.
If passed, the town would sell muncipal bonds for the projects, essentially its way to borrow money and pay it back with interest over time.
The cost of the roof projects is estimate at $3,236.575. Officials expect a state reimbursement of 35 percent but need to fund the entire cost.
The track and field project cost is an estimated $3,615,000, broken down as follows.
- $2,092,000 on the 6-lane track with 8-lane spring area and enclosed multi-use synthetic field
- $1,043,000 on parking lot and driveway improvements
- $480,000 on design fees and contingency.
First Selectman Richard Barlow said no votes would be taken at the meeting but that it offers a good chance to learn more about them. In addition to town and education officials, project architects will be there, he added.
"It's going to be an excellent opportunity for people to come, ask questions and get information about both of the projects," he said.
Depending on the advice of the town attorney and moderator, town officials may also provide a brief update on the status of a planned town garage and road improvements. Those projects were originally going to be on the ballot as one question but were pulled after appraisals for the potential garage property came in lower than the purchase price.
At a meeting last week, some Board of Finance members were concerned that having only two questions on the ballot would leave voters without a complete look at the potential tax impact of projects before they vote.
Finance board chairman Richard Ohanesian even advocated pulling the questions so all could be presented in the spring.
Barlow, however, contended that some projects may pass while others may not, essentially creating the same scenario. He also said many had already voted via absentee ballot.
Tax impact from the projects would vary from year to year but town has drafted some numbers projecting the average annual mill rate percentage increase for the years 2013-2026. The numbers do assume a 2-percent annual growth in the town budget, 2.5 percent in the Board of Education budget and 5-percent increase in the capital improvements budgets. Those percentages for the projected average tax rate increases per year for 2013-2026 are:
- Track only — 1.7 percent
- Roofs only (net of state reimbursement) — 1.69 percent
- Tracks and Roofs (net of state reimbursement) — 1.73 percent
- All Four Projects (as originally proposed) — 1.88 percent
More information about the projects and November questions can be found on the town's web site: