The City of New London Capital Equipment and Projects Committee met on Wed. Nov. 12, to discuss short and long range budget planning.
Finance Director Judy Radke explained several sets of spreadsheets that list proposed capital equipment and projects through 2025.
She separated projects and equipment requests under $25,000 and greater than $25,000 into two different spreadsheets. She also provided one spreadsheet combining all requested projects and equipment.
“We will probably meet a lot over the next six to seven months to go through these tables,” said Radke. Earlier in the year, Administrator Kent Hager asked all department heads to put together 10-year capital projects and equipment requests.
The city likely will bond for several upcoming long-term “greater than $25,000” projects on the list, including a new fire truck.
Short-term purchases and items under $25,000 are funded through the normal operational budget process.
“The question I’m not ready for is; How much can we bond for?” said Radke. “Many numbers and factors need to be gone over first.”
She also explained that timing was crucial for the anticipated bond issue in order to take advantage of when the TIFF 2 closes in 2016. The increase in assessed value will reduce the effect of a bond issue on the tax rate.
The committee did take action on a request for $91,000 to purchase two new squads, with in-car video cameras, and police radios that will communicate with Outagamie County.
The Police Department held off on purchasing new squads in 2014.
The extra year of running the squads cost an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 in additional maintenance.
Police Chief Jeff Schlueter explained that the squads are used 20-22 hours per day, 365 days a year.
He also informed committee members that since Outagamie County switched over to a new radio system in 2013; NLPD is not able to communicate with agencies in Outagamie County by radio.
“Both agencies rely on each other for assistance,” said Schlueter. He checked into purchasing dual band radios and found they were extremely expensive.
Instead, he asked to purchase 700/800 MHz portable radios to put in the squads, and one in the office. Schlueter reported the cost of the radios is $19,109, a fraction of the price of the dual band radios.
Committee member Denis Herter and Dave Morack moved to approve the purchase of the radios, along with two Ford Interceptor Squads and in-car video cameras for a total of $91,000.
The motion passed unanimously.
Fire Chief Bart Roloff delivered an update to the committee regarding the need for a new fire truck to replace Engine #953.
He said the truck is 30 years-old and currently cannot even function as a back up for the 20 year-old #954. The older truck is in need of repairs that would cost over $15,000 to fix and the truck is not up to NFPA standards.
“Currently we can function, but we’re really going to need to think about this,” said Roloff.
A new truck would cost approximately $450,000 to $350,000.
Roloff is currently checking into costs and specs for new trucks.
Judy Radke said this is something that would be included in the future bond issue.
She asked for a meeting with department heads and the capital equipment and projects committee in mid December to continue the discussion.