The Town of Marblehead’s multi-million dollar five-year capital improvement plan (CIP) for FY2022-FY2026 will allow the town to address significant infrastructure, building and facility needs this upcoming fiscal year and develops strategies to make regular investments in the maintenance and improvement of the town’s capital assets in future years.
In FY21, the Town has made significant investments in prominent cultural and historically significant town-owned assets such as the renovation of Abbot Hall, the Fort Sewall Restoration Project, and the new Lucretia and Joseph Brown Elementary School on the former Bell School site. These projects were able to come to fruition due in large part to citizen support through debt exclusion override votes as well as a combination of grant funds and generous private donations. While these prominent projects have received the most attention, and rightfully so, the Town has also made investments and executed smaller projects in FY21. For example, a historic shoe shed has been restored and will be converted into a small museum exhibit, pedestrian safety upgrades to key street crossings were constructed, the Council on Aging kitchen was renovated, several seawall improvements were completed, and digital message boards were purchased, to name a few. These projects were made possible through a combination of town, private, and grant funds.
The CIP includes a multi-year schedule to address capital needs allowing town departments to assess needs and plan for investments over multiple years. This way, the town is doing all that it can to avoid unanticipated emergencies and capital purchases. The challenge will always be finding the balance between addressing priority capital needs and the town’s ability to pay for them.
In this plan, the FY22 capital plan proposal was requested and will be funded through the FY22 Capital/Building Article which was approved at Annual Town Meeting upon the Town closing on the sale of the former Gerry School in the amount of $870,000 - $857,000 of the sale proceeds will fund capital investments in FY22. Future years, FY23 and FY24, provide a blueprint or plan for the future based on the best information available. It’s important to remember that the CIP is a living and breathing document meaning that as years pass projects might move forward or to a later year and/or additional projects might be added to the plan that are currently unanticipated or unknown. Should finances be more constrained than currently anticipated, projects could be moved back in time or taken off the list. Further, other projects not yet conceived of can be added if they advance the Town’s goals better than those included in the current version of the plan.