BURLINGTON - A total of four capital budget items were easily passed by Town Meeting at its lone session on Varsity Field.
The initiatives were tied to the Police Department, Fire Department and Recreation Department, all of whom had to submit a lesser amount of capital budget items due to the town’s perogative to withhold and postpone many items from this Town Meeting session to September or January, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic effectively putting the community’s financial situation in limbo.
The four items equaled $212,580 and will be funded from the town’s Free Cash account of $3,294,030.
- Ballistic Vests and Carriers ($89,580)
The Burlington Police Department needs new vests. The existing equipment has run its 5-year useful life, so they are requesting the replacement of 86 vests at $1,042 each. The vests run concurrent with a 5-year warranty period. The Ballistic Vest Program is a reimbursement program offered through the state in partnership with the Department of Justice. Expended funds for this warrant article will be reimbursed to the town at a rate to be determined after the grant money is figured out. During their last reimbursement period in fiscal year 2016, they received approximately 50 percent reimbursement. The primary purpose of a ballistic vest is to provide protection and safety to police officers. This item is a personally worn ballistic vest that covers the torso of the officer from various potential harms, including but not limited to injuries caused by firearms. Ballistic vests are mandatory wear-items within the policies and procedures of the Police Department. With Town Meeting’s approval, the new vests will be ordered July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.
- Administrative Vehicle ($32,000)
The Burlington Fire Department seeks a replacement to its 2008 administrative vehicle, a Ford Escape. Fire Chief Michael Patterson detailed the underbody of the vehicle is severely corroded and has become a subsequent “safety issue” as a result. The sub-frame of the vehicle that supports the engine and transmission is severely corroded. Continued corrosion to this sub-frame will result in taking the vehicle permanently out of service. The new vehicle will arrive in Burlington in “approximately” four months.
- ProCore Aerator ($26,000)
The ProCore 648 Aerator will assist the department’s fertilization program by providing them with a versatile aerator for smaller spaces, infields and even little league outfields. Aerating the soil with small holes allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots and prevent compaction. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous athletic field. This piece of equipment will compliment the larger, deep-tine aerator they use on their tractor for larger fields. Purchasing this smaller machine will allow them to perform aeration in-house rather than pay an outside contractor to perform the work, resulting in cost-savings expected to be realized in three years. The machine is expected to be up and running this summer.
- Rahanis Tennis Court Resurfacing ($65,000)
The current painted surface is cracking, including two large cracks in the pavement, creating a safety concern. The last time the courts were resurfaced was 2006. The cost to resurface and repair is too expensive to include in the Operating Budget, hence this capital budget request. By resurfacing the courts and repairing the cracks, they will prevent further deterioration of the surface.