Voters approve $2.9 million in bonding for roads, fire safety, parks, DPW

Town Clerk Vida Stone addresses the audience during the Town Meeting at Monroe Town Hall Monday night.

MONROE, CT — Voters participating a Town Meeting in the Council Chambers of Monroe Town Hall approved close to $3 million in bonding for capital projects and equipment Monday evening.

The bond authorizations included $1,020,000 for road construction and reconstruction, $1,195,000 for fire apparatus and safety equipment, and $745,000 to replace trucks for the Department of Public Works and for a Toro mower for the Parks and Recreation Department.

“Our five year rolling average is steadily going down,” First Selectman Ken Kellogg said, while showing a table on the town’s debt obligations. “Our bonded debt would still be reduced this year and is projected to be lower in 2024.”

With the approved bond authorizations, the town’s debt obligations will drop from $31,706,000 in 2022 to $28,925,000 this year, then to $26,897,000 in 2024, according to the first selectman.

Road maintenance

From left, Registrar Margaret J. Villani (R), Deputy Registrar Gary Zenobia (D) and Registrar Katherine A. B. Briggs (D) check off voters and issue ballots in the Town Hall lobby before the Town Meeting Monday night.

Town registrars Margaret J. Villani (R) and Katherine A. B. Briggs (D) sat at a table in the Town Hall lobby as eligible voters arrived to check in and receive their paper ballots.

Deputy Registrar Gary E. Zenobia (D) assisted at the table.

Town Council Chairman Jonathan Formichella served as the meeting moderator and Town Clerk Vida Stone read the resolution.

The bonding passed in three separate votes with blue paper ballots for the roads, gold for the fire apparatus and equipment and pink for the DPW and Parks and Recreation vehicles and equipment.

After each vote, Villani and Briggs collected the ballots, counted votes in front of the room and presented their tally to the moderator, who announced the results.

The first vote was for bonding not to exceed $1,020,000 (the $20,000 covers bond issuance costs) for Phase 9 of the construction/reconstruction of town roads for the continued road pavement improvement plan.

Kellogg said the town continues to use bonding and grant funds to improve the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) score for town roads.

The bonding was approved by a vote of 32 to 2.

Fire apparatus, safety

Registrar Katherine A. B. Briggs (D) collects ballots from voters at the Town Meeting Monday.

The $1,195,000 for fire safety equipment breaks down this way:

  • $360,000 for a mini-pumper for the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department. Kellogg said no special license is required for the smaller apparatus, allowing younger firefighters — age 18 to 20 — in the station to respond to calls immediately.
  • $430,000 for the Stevenson Volunteer Fire Department to refurbish Engine Rescue 302, converting it to a dual purpose truck. Kellogg said this will allow the fire company to reduce the size of its fleet by removing Rescue 320,  while improving efficiency and its response.
  • $381,000 for life saving self-contained breathing apparatus and associated equipment and supplies to meet National Fire Protection Association standards.
  • $24,000 for bond issuance costs.

The bonding was approved by a vote of 34 to 1.

Trucks, equipment

Registrar Margaret J. Villani (R), wearing red, collects ballots Monday.

The last bonding authorization of $745,000 breaks down this way:

  • $290,000 for a 10-wheel dump truck for public works as part of a dump truck replacement plan.
  • $46,000 for the body replacement of a 6-wheel dump truck.
  • And $85,000 wood chipper for public works.
  • $98,000 for an F550 truck with a plow and spreader for public works.
  • $85,000 for an F550 truck for the crew leader.
  • $54,000 for an F150 inspection truck.
  • $72,000 for a Toro mower for Parks and Recreation.
  • $15,000 for bond issuance costs.

Kellogg said the town is saving money by doing a body replacement for the 6-wheel dump truck, rather than buying a new one.

This bonding authorization passed by a unanimous vote of 35 to 0.

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