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Town Meeting will consider five-year capital plan


KENT—The annual town meeting will be held Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. at town hall to consider the proposed five-year capital plan, which was received by the Board of Finance at its meeting Jan. 17 night.

The capital plan spans 10 years of projected expenses and is updated annually. It lists only large-ticket capital costs, defined as being valued at $20,000 or more, with a useful life expectancy of more than 15 years. 

Only the first five years of the plan are considered for taxing purposes. The second five years are more visionary with costs attached to these goals being, necessarily, less precise. 

Once a project is approved, it cannot be used for any other purpose without taxpayer consent.

This year’s capital plan covers several areas, including a Kent Volunteer Fire Department request to replace its a rescue truck.

There is currently $425,000 in the plan toward the purchase, with $200,000 slated to be added in each of fiscal years 2026 and 2027, $300,000 in 2028, and $400,000 in 2029.

KVFD Treasurer Eric Epstein explained that the cost of equipment has soared dramatically in recent years, and it is hoped that the fund will be enough to cover the anticipated $1,525,000 price tag in 2029.

Delivery times for trucks now stretches to two years after a contract is signed.

The fire department is also asking for $25,000 in 2029 for communications equipment. It is deferring funding for acquisition of a second new truck until the second half of the plan in years 2030-34. 

Land use funding shows existing funds of $4,000 for a town plan and $37,045 for zoning regulation revisions in 2025.

Additional funding for these projects is listed in year 2029 ($15,000 for zoning regulations) followed by a $30,000 request in 2030. Another $50,000 is allocated for the Town Plan in 2031 and ’32.

Park and Rec has several large projects, anticipating the need to resurface the playground in six years, renovating the walking path at Kent Commons, improvements to the basketball court, creation of a splash pad, resurfacing the tennis courts and improvements and upkeep of playing fields.

It currently has $100,000 for an Emery Park playground and $150,000 to repair the unused pool there.

It proposes $25,000 in 2027 for paving and drainage, with another $25,000 in 2029 for the same purpose. A request for $35,000 in 2029 would be used for trails.

At Kent Commons, Park and Rec is asking for $100,000 for the basketball court in 2029, $25,000 in each of 2027 and 2028 for a splash pad, and $20,000 in 2025 for maintenance of the tennis courts.

It wants $50,000 in 2027 to maintain playing fields, as well was $25,000 in the same year to develop a master plan.

A final $35,000 is included in 2029 for acquisition of a vehicle. 

During the Jan. 17 Board of Finance meeting, taxpayer Lynn Harrington objected to the inclusion of the splash pad in the capital plan, saying the Recreation Commission has done no real planning for the item.

Maintenance of town buildings is the final part of the capital plan.

The town currently has $40,000 for interior painting and carpeting, a sum deemed adequate for only a portion of the ground floor. The selectmen believe another $100,000 will be needed for first- and second-floor offices and the hallway on the second floor.

In the first five years of the plan, they want $65,000 in 2027 for roof repairs at town hall, $100,000 in 2029 for sidewalks there, and $150,000 in the same year for window replacement.

At the Community House, $50,000 is slotted in 2026 for the roof, $150,000 in 2028 for flooring, and $150,000 in 2029 for windows.

Swift House would receive $30,000 in 2027 for HVAC. Renovations, repairs, ADA compliance and the like are listed in 2029 ($75,000) and 2029 ($325,000). 

The selectmen are currently assessing potential uses for the ancient building, which has been closed to the public for several years.

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