Road repairs lead bonded capital budget

Road repaving at the accelerated pace of 15 miles per year once again leads the list of bonded capital projects the public will be asked to vote on at the Annual Town Meeting on May 1.

Citizens at the meeting will be asked to share their opinion on $3 million in road repairs for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The meeting will adjourn to a town vote on Saturday, May 5.

The bonded capital budget was finalized by the Board of Selectmen on April 2 at town hall. It also includes $700,000 for the replacement of turf on Lilly Field with coconut-fiber organic turf, and $400,000 to repave and add lights to the school bus storage yard.

The Board of Finance was to consider the bonding items at its mill rate meetings scheduled for April 3-5. The finance board can make an opinion on whether or not to support these items, said First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice. It will be up to the public to decide.

Selling municipal bonds on the bond market is the town’s way of borrowing money. The interest rate the town pays to borrow is determined by its credit rating. Moody’s has assessed Wilton its highest rating of Aaa. The town repays the loan with interest over a period of years.

From a year-by-year perspective, the total bonded capital budget of $4.1 million is small compared to the bonded capital budget expected in the following year, 2020. At that time, there may be requests for at least $11.4 million for a police building, $910,000 to remodel Fire Station 2, and $1.2 million for school improvements, for a total of $16.6 million.