I am pleased to present the 2020 CIP Book to the Seabrook Planning Board, the Seabrook Board of Selectmen, and the Seabrook Budget Committee. I have also prepared a seven year history of capital spending, as well as a separate book (CIP Supplemental) that looks at how we fund CIP Projects, as well as how we are progressing with our 2019 articles. The additional information is designed to assist policy makers as they determine how to proceed in 2020 and beyond in authorizing, and funding, vital capital projects. Thanks to Shaylia Marquis for all of her work on this project, and a big thank you to all of our municipal departments for their contributions as well.
Congratulations and best wishes to Seabrook Water Department Foreman Herb Fowler, who is retiring after 42 years of service. Herb has been an integral part of the growth and development of the Seabrook Water Department. The Board of Selectmen traveled to the Water Department to honor Herb and recognize his service to Seabrook with the entire Water Department. Thank you Herb for your outstanding service to Seabrook.
The Seabrook Firefighters Memorial has been moved to the Seabrook Fire Station, and the Town remembered those that have come before us in the Fire Service in Seabrook with a ceremony on Saturday. Thanks to Chief William Edwards for making this day possible with a lot of excellent planning and work. Many thanks to the Seabrook Board of Selectmen for all of their support. It was wonderful to have former Chief Jeff Brown on hand, and deep appreciation to Chaplain Craig Everett as well as bagpipers Bill Shute and Jim MacDonald, and Newburyport Chief Chris LeClair. The weather did not cooperate much but it was a great ceremony despite that.
A beautiful day for the Seabrook Memorial Day celebration yesterday. Thank you to Katie Duffey for all of her hard work, as well as our DPW for all of the preparation. As always our thanks and gratitude to the Raymond Walton American Legion Post 70 for their work, and for their hospitality after the parade. A big thank you to all of the parade participants.
Below I have posted the seven year review of Seabrook Capital Spending, along with a supporting document of tabs that show the basis of the numbers in the main report. This document is designed to show how much we are spending on capital, how we are financing it, and where those capital tax dollars are going. There have been some important changes made, principally the adoption by the Board of Selectmen of capital reserve accounts, which are highlighted in the report. The new annual financial report will be up next. For those that might dismiss the vital importance of annual capital plans please look at the dollars spent over the past seven years. There may not be a more important document produced by localities than the annual CIP.
It was an exciting day in Seabrook, as Eureka Gaming opened the Greyhound Casino & Tavern at the site of the old Yankee Greyhound facility they recently purchased. This is the first of many upgrades to come at this location, and occurred a scant 40 plus days after Eureka purchased the site. There is much more to come! Stay tuned for some more exciting economic development news in Seabrook!
The ARGO Rescue vehicle, ordered by the Seabrook Board of Selectmen last year, has arrived in Seabrook. Our first responders are training on this vehicle, which will allow them to reach those in distress that are in difficult to reach areas. While it will be of significant assistance to rescue personnel on Seabrook Beach the vehicle can be deployed town-wide. A big thank you to the D’Allasandro Fund, which financed the purchase, allowing us to increase public safety at no cost to taxpayers.
I have submitted to the Seabrook Board of Selectmen a breakdown of the 2019 warrant with a look at the tax impacts on 2019. There will be a more substantial analysis submitted after the election results come in. The “pre-election analysis” is below. The focus is on 2019 impacts, with a breakdown by Department. After the breakdown we give a look at what the 2019 budget would look like if all articles passed.
Seabrook has a robust Asset Management plan, with warrant article 7 designed to build upon our existing system. Our Wastewater Department has produced the informational video attached below. This article will have no impact on the tax rate as it will be converted to a grant.
The annual reports provided to the Board of Selectmen on the activity of the Water Department and the Sewer Department are attached below. These reports are compiled to examine the volumes in each department, as well as the overall financial impacts of each department on the overall municipal budget. In FY 2018 the overall level of taxpayer subsidy to both departments in combination was relatively stable, but increased in wastewater. The Board of Selectmen have adjusted water and sewer rates in FY 2019 in order to eliminate this taxpayer subsidy. Next years report should see the combined “subsidy” eliminated, or being very close to elimination. The taxpayer subsidy in 2018, on an operations only basis, was over $2 million.