Andover’s annual budget season will kick into high gear Wednesday, when the select board gets its first public look at Town Manager Andrew Flanagan’s proposed, $18 million capital improvement plan for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2024.
The budget is smaller than the Town’s operating budget, which covers regular operational expenses, including salaries. Town meeting reviews both budgets in April after thorough reviews by affected town boards and departments. The CIP, as it is known in local government jargon, covers improvements and maintenance to town and school properties and is culled from the x million in requests from Town of Andover department heads.
Among the recommendations in Flanagan’s recommended budget for FY25:
- Major school projects, including HVAC upgrades at Doherty Middle School, as well as kitchen and other repairs at Wood Hill Middle/High Plain Elementary Schools.
- Continued water main replacement work.
- $25,000 for a high-speed ballot tabulator for the Town Clerk’s office to process mail-in ballots on election night.
- Four new police cruisers and one unmarked police car.
- 65 new 9MM pistols.
Key dates in CIP Process:
Nov. 15: Town Manager Andrew Flanagan delivers recommended CIP budget to select board.
Nov. 29: Select board public hearing on proposed budget.
Dec. 6: Select board, school committee and finance committee discuss proposed budget.
Dec. 11: Select board discusses and considers adopting CIP budget.
April 29, 2023: Final approval at Annual Town Meeting.
In related business, the select board is also expected to vote on the senior tax exemption percentage and hold a hearing on property assessments that will determine tax rates when it meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the school administration building. A final vote on next year’s tax rates is scheduled for Dec. 4. On Dec. 11, the select board will vote on accepting the recommended CIP.
The CIP is down from the current fiscal year’s $24.5 million, when the budget included a new, $600,000 turf field at Bancroft Elementary School and replacement of fire and DPW vehicles.
Funding for the budget includes $2.4 million from the general fund revenue, $1.9 from free cash, $1.4 million from special dedicated funds and $7.3 million from the Water & Sewer Enterprise Funds. The 2025 budget recommends borrowing $5 million, up slightly from $4.9 million in the current fiscal year.
In addition to the requests for the next fiscal year, the capital improvement fund includes projections of future capital improvement needs through FY 2029.