The Freeport Town Council was scheduled to begin discussions this week on a $2.5 million capital budget for 2016, which is part of a five-year capital budget plan.

Town Manager Peter Joseph presented the figures to councilors Feb. 26. The council meeting March 3 was held after the Tri-Town Weekly’s deadline.

The $2,486,500 capital budget will be part of a municipal budget to be voted on in June.

Last year’s capital budget was $2.7 million, a significant increase due mostly to a major reconstruction of Wardtown Road. Freeport Public Works will complete that job and repave the road this spring.

Joseph said that road projects will be a key component of this year’s capital budget again this year, along with a request for a new $750,000 fire truck to replace a truck that is more than 20 years old.

“We’ve got other roads to do now,” Joseph said. “Litchfield Road and roads in South Freeport village need work. Underground drainage work is needed. Paving would be done in 2017.”

Joseph added that residents of South Freeport have made it clear they do not want sidewalks added, nor street improvements such as bicycle lanes.

“The request was pretty clear that they want no changes in the streetscape there,” he said.

This year, Joseph is working with a new finance director, Jessica Maloy, to develop the town budget. Maloy, who replaces Abbe Yacoben, had the same position in her hometown of Lisbon.

Maloy said that Freeport is well-positioned to deal with capital budgets, because the town has infrastructure reserve accounts in place.

“The policies and the structures that Freeport has in place are better than they were in Lisbon,” Maloy said.

A public hearing on the capital budget is scheduled for April 7.

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