Half-million-dollar bond proposed for upgrading Greenwood roads
A proposed half-million dollar bond for road improvements is likely to be the key item of taxpayer interest in an otherwise unremarkable Greenwood budget proposal for the coming year.
At a public hearing Tuesday, residents will get their first formal look at the proposed budget, which calls for just over $2 million in town spending, and a mil rate of 10.95.
The rate compares to 10.4 mil for 2008, the most recent budget year spanning a comparable number of months. In its last budget cycle (2009/2010) the town budgeted for 18 months, in order to make the transition from a calendar-year budget to a fiscal (July 1 to June 30) year.
The largest components of the 2008 mil rate were 5.40 mil for town spending and 4.45 mil for the SAD44 assessment.
In the latest budget the relative positions of those two components has flipped, with 5.6 mil going to SAD44, and 4.7 toward town expenses.
Greenwood's annual Town Meeting this year will be held on Saturday, May 22. At that point voters would make their first decision on the bond proposal – whether or not to support it in concept.
If they agree, a subsequent meeting would be held at which they would vote on the terms of an actual commitment.
The proposal has the support of both the Board of Selectmen and Budget Committee, according to Town Manager (and Road Commissioner) Kim Sparks.
“They know there's probably no other way to fix the roads,” Sparks said.
Financing the bond, she said, would not involve the town spending a great deal more per year on road improvements than it already does – roughly $100,000.
The bond proposal calls for a five-year term, and at an anticipated rate of approximately 4 percent a year, that would add up to an annual payment somewhere in the range of $110,000.
If voters approve the bond, and other elements of the timing fall into place, Sparks said, the work could be completed this summer.
And that would result in some savings for the town, “because the rates for asphalt are really good right now.”