Creation and composition of the Capital Planning Committee:
The Town voted to amend its General By-laws pursuant to M.G.L. c.41, §106B, to establish a Capital Planning Committee, that will replace any previous Capital Planning Committee, at the Annual Town Meeting held on July 25, 2020. This change created a Capital Planning Committee that would conform to the current M.G.L. requirements.
The Capital Planning Committee shall be made up of five members, each appointed for 3 year staggered terms. All members shall be appointed by the Select Board, and initially, one member shall be appointed for (1) one year, two members for (2) two years and two members shall be appointed for (3) three years. Two members are to be appointed from amongst the Finance Committee by the Select Board. The remaining three committee members are appointed by the Select Board based upon the best available candidates with an appropriate background and knowledge to fulfill the needs and duties of the Committee. All appointments shall be based upon the beginning and ending of the fiscal year for the terms described above. Any vacancy for an unexpired term shall be filled in the same manner so as to complete the term of the original appointment.
Purpose and role of the Capital Planning Committee:
The fundamental purpose of the Capital Planning Committee shall be to enhance the Town’s capacity to identify, prioritize, and understand the financial implications of capital projects with a useful life of at least five (5) years, and an aggregate cost of at least $5,000. And, to develop a capital plan relative to the afore mentioned purpose. Further, the Capital Planning Committee will work with the Finance Committee to develop policies consistent with best practices.
►The Capital Planning Committee should solicit requests from each municipal department that would have a capital request meeting the above criteria. The departmental requests should include a brief statement of justification of the request including why it is needed; what is the useful life of the item, what is the estimated cost of the item and why it is necessary in the year for which it is being requested.
►The Capital Planning Committee shall gather information, review and prioritize recommendations regarding capital project needs and expenditures that will be funded by annual appropriations in accordance with the financial constraints of the Town.
►Develop and present a capital plan budget and multi-year capital program to the Finance Committee and Select Board with the recommendations of the Capital Planning Committee for what should and should not be included in any given year.
►In conjunction with the Finance Committee analyze the municipality’s ability to afford major expenditures by examining recent and anticipated trends in revenues, expenditures and debt burden and propose a method of payment that will be supported by the ability of the Town to pay for it with current revenue; available reserves; debt or debt excluded and debt overrides from the limits of Proposition 2 ½.
►The funding strategy for the Capital Stabilization account should be consistent with best practices such as targeting 3% - 5% of the levy limit or 3% - 5% of the annual budget, prior to debt exclusions.
►The Capital Planning Committee, in conjunction with the Finance Committee, should recommend a method for financing each project.