Woodbridge capital budget forum scheduled

A special capital budget forum is scheduled in Woodbridge on Jan. 15th to allow residents to review and discuss plans for physical expenditures over the next 10 years.

This meeting is being held in addition to the usual annual budget meeting in which the year's operational expenses are reviewed.

"I would like a really good turnout," First Selectman Amey Marrella told the Bulletin, "so voters can give the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance input on the upcoming capital projects, such as the new firehouse."

Although the town's charter requires only a six-year forecast, Marrella is looking further ahead to get a better idea of the town's potential expenditures and "set priorities."

"For example, the roof of Beecher Road School North is scheduled for replacement seven years from now," she explained, saying that planning ahead will allow spacing of the projects so they don't impact taxes all at once.

Marrella expects the town will need to bond three major projects during that period: the firehouse, an expansion at Beecher Road School and open space acquisitions. In addition, overcrowding at the Amity School District campuses, although bonded by the District, will also impact local taxes.

According to the Selectwoman, the town has one more year of increasing debt payments on its current bonds and then they begin to taper off.

"How much more debt are residents willing to take on, because that will be a base payment we will have to build into our taxes every year," she said.

The Firehouse Building Committee, The Beecher Road School Building Committee and the Conservation Commission with the Woodbridge Land Trust have been invited to present their project proposals at the meeting.

"I would like to show people were we are now and present some of the options," Marrella said, and added that she hoped the meeting would generate discussion among those who attend.

The meeting will be held at the Center Gym at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Janurary15th.