With eye toward Hartford, Selectmen, Board of Finance contemplate bonding
DARIEN — With an eye toward Hartford’s proposed cuts to municipal grants, selectmen approved a request to authorize the bonding of a selection of already approved projects.
Should they choose, the Board of Finance could partially or fully bond for the Darien High School cafeteria, at $1.7 million, the Darien High School shed, at $250,000, and the Town Hall generator, at $250,000.
“My understanding is that the Board of Finance is looking to have some flexibility in case some of the governor’s proposals for the budget actually come to fruition and we lose significant state grant money,” Town Administrator Kate Buch said.
According to Gov. Daniel Malloy’s most recent budget proposal, Darien could owe as much as $4 million to the state.
“So this gives the Board of Finance flexibility in how we pay for these three items,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said. “It’s not to say that they will, in fact, bond them, but they can bond them if they wish.
According to the town’s finance director, the interest rate on bonds issued on projects in 2017 would be 2.875 percent. If issued in 2018, they would climb to 3.425 percent.
“Rates are really ticking up,” Stevenson said.
“So it’s not a savior, it’s a contingency plan,’ said Selectman Rob Richards.