After voting to bond more than $3 million between the department of public works and police department at the most recent town board meeting, Harrison Mayor/Supervisor Ron Belmont (R) said the town has now completed its capital spending in 2012.
"Right now we're done," Belmont said. "That's it."
The spending, approved during a meeting on June 7, includes a new for the sanitation department, several new vehicles for the police department and a new street sweeper for the highway department, among other things.
Although the spending was met with some concern at the meeting in early June, Belmont said the town has paid off enough old bonds this year that he doesn't expect it to affect the town's tax rate. He said the Town Board evaluated what was coming off of the books in 2012 and added less this year.
The new equipment was also necessary, Belmont said, as old equipment has become nearly unusable and more expensive to maintain. Three new vans that will be used by the recreation department will replace one that was totalled in an accident and another two that are 15 and 20 years old. The street sweeper to be replaced, Belmont said, spent more time in the shop than on the street.
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"If you stop paying attention to your house for four or five years, all of a sudden you are going to have catastrophic costs to get your house back in order," Belmont said. "We're trying to prevent that, at least I am."
The new garbage truck, which will cost approximately $438,500 including necessary equipment, will replace an old truck that has become too old and often breaks down, Belmont said. The town board has discussed the new truck at length this spring, touting its potential to decrease workload and decrease injuries within the sanitation department.
Before voting to bond the truck, the board considered other options, including leasing and renting to buy, but it was determined those options would be too expensive.
The police budget was approved at $1.21 million and will include a $92,000 emergency operations center, several and $281,500 for seven new vehicles. Other expenses include office equipment, radio communication equipment and guns.
While the operating budget for 2012 was with a 4.7 percent tax rate increase, it is common for municipalities to bond more long-term expenditures during the first few months of the year. The capital budget is paid over a longer amount of time and usually includes equipment or projects that will benefit a community over that span.
Belmont said this week the new expenses are necessary to keep the town running efficiently and to maintain the level of services residents have come to expect in Harrison.
"People want a level of service they're accustomed to," he said. "If we're going to provide the activities they want we are going to have to invest, to spend money."