, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 30, 2012

Newbury CPC seeks cohesion on budget, debt policies

NEWBURY — The Capital Planning Committee seeks to get the town's policies on budget and debt in sync.

At a meeting with selectmen on Tuesday, Chairman Bob Connors of the CPC identified two pages of recommended policies contained in the first annual CPC report, and stressed the importance of having spending and acquisition of debt governed by one cohesive policy through all town departments.

Selectmen Chairman Joe Story agreed to add a discussion on the policy recommendations to the board's next meeting on April 10.

Items listed by the CPC as recommended budget policies include:

Making all capital improvements in accordance with an adopted capital improvement program

Developing and annually updating a multiyear plan for capital improvements

Enacting an annual capital budget based on the capital plan with future expenditures necessitated by changes to population, real estate development or the town's economic base calculated and included in the budget projections

Coordinating the capital budget with the operating budget and making sure anticipated operating costs related to new capital improvements are projected and included in the operating budget forecast

Ensuring intergovernmental assistance will only be used to finance capital improvements consistent with the established plan and priorities and that operating and maintenance costs are included in budget forecasts

Maintaining assets at a level that protects the town's capital investment and minimizes future maintenance and replacement costs.

Developing a maintenance and replacement schedule based on projected equipment needs over the next several years that are updated annually

Identifying potential costs and funding sources for each capital project proposal submitted for Town Meeting approval

Determining the least costly financing method for all new projects

Recommended policies governing debt include:

Confining long-term borrowing to capital improvements or projects that can't be financed from current revenues

Paying back bonds issued on capital projects within the expected useful life of the project

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