Elizabethtown Town Council approves $3.1 million for Capital Improvement Plan


By Chrysta Carroll - ccarroll@civitasmedia.com



ELIZABETHTOWN — The Town of Elizabethtown has committed itself to a $3.1 million Capital Improvement Plan for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

At the budget planning retreat on Feb. 27, Finance Officer Jay Leatherman presented the board with a Capital Improvement Plan for the coming year. Among the items were:

— Public Services will receive $100,000 to relocate the current airport terminal to Swanzy Street. The building will be repurposed to provide things like locker and shower facilities and a break room for Public Works employees.

— The police department will receive $50,000 to buy two new cars.

— The second phase of the downtown utility burial will begin, at a cost of $1,575,000.

— The street lights down W. Broad Street will be replaced, which will cost $340,000. The Council recently approved a design to incorporate some of the same features of the lights installed downtown in 2011.

— A $140,000 new knuckle-boom truck will be purchased for the Street Department. Public Services Director Pat DeVane said at the retreat he saw the truck and its capabilities when a town volunteered to come help with debris removal after Hurricane Matthew. The 24-foot arm on the truck will be able to pick up appliances and large yard waste.

— Greene’s Lake Park will be developed through a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant to the tune of $500,000.

— The Water Department will receive $439,500. Money will be used to pay for items like a Ditch Witch ($42,500), rehabilitation to the Glenwood Drive lift station ($75,000), and a generator at a new well ($52,000).

Councilman Dicky Glenn was the lone dissenting vote for the plan.

“I think everything here is wonderful, and I hope there’s enough money to do it,” he said recently, “but I want to know how good our vision is. I understand we can swap out a 20-year loan for a 40-year loan, but I don’t want us to be tied down in debt for 40 years and have no breathing room for 30 years.”

Glenn voiced concern over recent substantial losses to the tax base like Taco Bell’s multimillion dollar airplane and the closing of MasterFried.

“If we don’t start planning ahead, we won’t be able to help when needed,” he said.

Council approved the Capital Improvement Plan as presented.

In other business, the board:

— Heard from Poplar Street resident Roslyn Lewis, who requested a refund for 10 years of sewer service due to the fact that there is a septic tank on her property. Town Manager Eddie Madden told the board the town has been maintaining the septic system and has been charging Lewis a sewer fee. Lewis requested approximately $1,080 in refund money, and Council agreed to look into the matter.

— Declared Engine 557, purchased in 2008, surplus for the fire department. Chief Nick West said he would like to dispose of the truck and replace it with a rescue vehicle outfitted with equipment, as well as an enclosed trailer, all of which the Rescue Squad is selling for $75,000. The estimated value of Engine 557 is $50,000.

The next meeting of the Elizabethtown Town Council will be Monday, April 3, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.

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By Chrysta Carroll

ccarroll@civitasmedia.com

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