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Voters Approve $390K in Town Hall Roof Funds

A bonding issue for the Monroe Town Hall roof was approved by a vote of 29-3 Monday night.

No motion was made to discuss a $390,000 bonding authorization to remove asbestos and replace the shingles on Monroe Town Hall's leaky roof during a Town Meeting Monday night, before voters approved the funds by paper ballot 29-3.

At a time when the police station that shares town hall is being renovated with two small additions in the back, many believe the upgrades to the 40-year-old building's roof are long overdue.

Town Councilman Tony Unger was pleased that the funds were approved, but was critical of the process.

"As a member of the Capital Improvements Committee, we've been talking about this for six years," he said. "I'm very upset that this is getting done piecemeal without a plan."

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Fellow council member, Debra Dutches also criticized the process.

"The Town Council supported the roof in the past two budget cycles and asked that it be in the budget process and it wasn't," she said.

A Policy Proposal

During the Town Council meeting afterward, Unger proposed a new policy when coming before the council with bonding requests for projects.

According to the policy, a request must be made at least two weeks before any potential vote and it must include the following items for the project to be considered:

  • A complete scope of the project
  • A timeline for implementation and completion as well as status review dates and other milestones
  • Estimate of costs including contingency
  • Suggested oversight committee
  • Potential alternatives considered

"The aforementioned items must be submitted in writing by the First Selectman to the Town Council. The Council also welcomes the input of various department heads and members of the public on projects. However, it is important that the Council have a written record of items from the First Selectman," Unger said while reading the policy proposal to the rest of the council.

Unger asked that the proposed policy go to the council's Legislative & Administrative Committee for review. The rest of the council agreed.

Al October 23, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Why Bond $390K? How much is it going to cost when do? The Town of Monroe has no money in it's pocket to pay for it without Bonding? Is this the only way it is done?
Jethro October 23, 2012 at 03:56 PM
But the planning and zoning committee spent over $800,000 on legal fees!
Steve Kirsch October 23, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Al, technically what was approved allows the town to bond or borrow money for this project. It actually does not control if the bonding will take place, even though that is the most likely outcome.
QWERTY October 23, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Am I allowed to bond for my property tax bill and then let the next home owners worry about it?
Alex October 23, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Sign me up! Anyone know how much money we know owe total in bonds or where that information would be public?
Jethro October 23, 2012 at 07:45 PM
We will be paying for these bills a long time. Even when the new roads are old and crumbling it will still not be paid for.
Cara J. Kramer October 23, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I would think all the bonding information would be in the annual audited financial statements. Have to agree with Unger & Dutches - there should be a complete plan in place for something like this. I think that might be too much for the current first selectman to handle though.
Geezer October 23, 2012 at 08:56 PM
this will speed up the annual budget process as 100% of the budget will be needed to pay the bond debt - no more arguments over raises, staff increases, community centers, etc
Steve Kirsch October 24, 2012 at 08:59 AM
Actually the road bonds are for 10 years, so they will be paid off during the life of the roads. Other bonds are for longer periods.
Rt25 October 24, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Jethro, we will be paying for these bills a long time.......sounds like you are talking about President Obama's spending spree at our expense.

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