With the Capital Budget process already underway, the Cheshire Town Council is tasked with deciding what projects to fund during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as what Cheshire may look like five years from now.
Town Manager Sean Kimball announced at the Cheshire Town Council meeting on June 9 that roughly $19.1 million, which is a bulk of the capital budget funding, will be dedicated to the Public Works Department. At the first capital budget workshop on June 16, Public Works director George Noewatne presented his plans and projects for the next upcoming fiscal year.
“The first big project is the boiler replacement at the fire headquarters annex, which has a boiler that was installed in 1988, so it’s reached the end of its useful life and we’d like to move that along,” he began. “The second part of that is to get some planning money to begin to also do those changes at the Police Department.”
The replacement of both boilers will cost roughly $260,000. While the Cheshire Police Department is not currently in need of a new boiler, Noewatne and the rest of the Council agreed that it might be in the best interest of the Town to look ahead and save some funds for some projects that may be coming down the pipeline.
Another big project is the $1.4 million HVAC and locker room improvements to the Cheshire Police Department.
The process should begin in the next few weeks, according to Noewatne.
Budget Committee Chair David Borowy then asked Noewatne if the improvements to the CPD locker rooms are needed because of a “moisture problem”, which has affected the CPD building for a number of years.
“[This capital request] will be addressing that issue. Part of this is a reconfiguration of the locker rooms to accommodate and also expand the female locker room, which is in dire need of that,” answered Noewatne. “The second part is to mitigate the moisture problems, particular to the lower level because it’s largely subterranean. But these changes will improve the entire building.”
Town Council Chair Rob Oris explained that, since the Council was made aware of the moisture issues at the CPD building, he has made it a priority to move the HVAC and locker room improvements to this year.
“We want to make sure that everyone who works for this Town, including our public safety people, are working in an environment that’s healthy and serves them well,” he insisted.
Noewatne then went on to explain some smaller Public Works projects which he is hoping to get done this year. Those projects include replacing old Public Works trucks, street light pole replacements, repaving of the parking lots at Cheshire parks, and various sidewalk improvements.