Published March 17, 2021


WAKEFIELD — The Capital Planning Committee voted last night to recommend a Capital Outlay budget of $1,982,325 for FY 2022, which begins on July 1, 2021.

During months of meetings, the CPC weighed capital funding requests from various town departments totaling $6,590,936 and whittled the number down to just under $2 million worth of priority items.

In two meetings last week, the CPC finalized the list of items on the recommended list.

DPW Director Joseph Conway works with the CPC and maintains the spreadsheet of numbers for the committee. Conway reviewed the final list with the committee last night.

He noted that $176,312 is for payments due next year for prior years’ equipment leases.

THE TOWN’S FY 2022 Capital Plan includes $50,000 for a new roof for the historic Hartshorne House. (Mark Sardella Photo)

Under the “Fleet” section of the Capital Plan some of the bigger ticket items include three police cruisers at $186,000, a Toro Gang Mower for the DPW at $93,800, a Ford utility van (DPW) for $75,000, a sidewalk plow (lease/purchase) at $32,000 and a crane (lease/purchase) at $50,000.

Under “Buildings,” the list includes two heat pumps at the Doyle School for $60,000, two replacement boilers at the Senior Center at $115,000 and window replacements at Town Hall for $30,000.

There was some discussion of a requested $50,000 to replace the roof of the historic Hartshorne House on Church Street. It was noted that the current roof is over 30 years old and the $50,000 would cover the cost of a new roof that is historically accurate.

The capital list also includes a road paver at $48,000 and funding an ADA transition plan for all town buildings for a total of $150,000.

On the capital funding list for schools next year is an upgrade of the playground at the Woodville School, including rubber surfaces and new equipment for $140,000.

There was a lengthy discussion of a request from the School IT Department to replace 88 classroom projectors at a cost of $153,800. School Department Technology Director Jeff Weiner argued for replacing all of the projectors at the Galvin Middle School, which are approaching their seven-year expected life span. He said that once replaced, the old projectors that are still working will be kept in reserve to be rolled out when projectors at other schools fail.

Some CPC members felt that replacing 88 of the total of 330 projectors system-wide was a big ask for one year, but ultimately the committee went along with the request. 

The DPW’s Dennis Fazio appeared at last week’s meeting of the CPC to argue for a new baseball scoreboard at Walsh Field for $13,500. He noted that the field and backstop were recently upgraded at a cost of $200,000. He said that the scoreboard has not worked properly for years. The scoreboard survived the final cut and remains on the capital list for FY 2022.

The Capital plan will also fund Phase 2 of a radio system upgrade for the Fire Department at $62,500

The CPC also approved the capital requests of the Water and Sewer enterprise departments, which are not funded by tax levy. The amount for the Water Department was $250,000 and the capital request for the Sewer department was $170,000.

After approving the nearly $2 million in capital recommendations for next year, the committee went through an exercise of splitting the list into Phase 1 and Phase 2 priorities, in the unlikely event that last year’s scenario repeats and funding for the full list is not available. 

Capital Planning Committee chairman Frank Leone is scheduled to present the FY 2022 capital budget at the Town Council meeting on Monday and at next Thursday’s Finance Committee meeting.