September 26 2017

$150,000 for New Town Common Electrical System Approved

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington Town Common will soon have a new electrical system.

Town Meeting on Monday voted to move $150,000 from the town’s Reserve Fund for an overhaul of the electrical system currently in place. This project will entail installing a whole new system with up-to-date and components and that would conform to Massachusetts electrical and building codes.

Town Meeting members were mostly in favor of the project but there were a few questions posed by a handful of them. The first was why the Reserve Fund was being used instead of another source like the Stabilization Fund or Free Cash.

Town Accountant Paul Sagarino said Free Cash was not available at the time. Ways & Means Chair Sonia Rollins said that if there wasn’t a Town Meeting in September that body would have approved the use of Stabilization funds.

The other question was why this was being proposed now rather than next May during the Town Meeting session that deals with the budget.

“Normally we do capital items at the budget meetings,” said Town Meeting member John Iler. “And normally emergencies are considered surprises but is this a surprize or a second chance to get a shot at the budget?”

Rollins explained that over the summer when the Parks & Recreation Department was preparing for Celebrate Burlington the electrician noticed the dire state of the electrical wires. The situation was so bad, she said, that generators were brought in to back up the electrical system.

“We felt it was an emergency,” she said.

The project also includes some ancillary benefits. These include a new light next to a walkway that was deemed too dim and four additional speaker connections for larger events. There will also be new flag pole lighting and strategically located receptacles for the holiday tree lighting.



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