The town of North Hempstead plans to borrow $92.8 million over the next five years for capital projects.
The town board recently voted 7-0 to adopt the capital plan, which outlines numerous large-scale projects from 2017 to 2021, such as renovating the Clinton G. Martin Park pool in New Hyde Park and stabilizing the bluffs at Beacon Hill in Port Washington.
The plan is a “blueprint” for the town’s future investments, Supervisor Judi Bosworth said at a Tuesday public hearing. It details spending to enhance the town’s aging infrastructure, address storm resiliency and improve parks.
“These projects are essential to ensure that the town has its property maintained for future generations to come,” Bosworth said.
After accounting for grant funding and town operating funds on hand, the plan calls for borrowing $45.6 million for the town general fund, $20.1 million for the town outside village fund and $27.1 million for the town-operated special districts. The town outside village fund encompasses services for taxpayers living in unincorporated areas of North Hempstead, and its special districts cover 20 separate districts such as parks and fire protection.
There is also $49.3 million allotted for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, which will be offset through federal and state grants.
Among the costliest projects during the five-year period are $11 million for general improvements at Port Washington’s Harbor Links golf course, $10 million to stabilize the bluffs at Beacon Hill, $20 million to reconstruct the town dock in Port Washington and $14 million to revamp the pool at Clinton G. Martin Park.
In 2017, the town will issue $8.4 million in long-term general fund debt and $5.2 million in long-term town outside village debt for new projects. There are several projects planned for next year, including $250,000 to create a new dog park and $700,000 to extend Port Washington’s Hempstead Harbor Shoreline trail.
Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, who represents Port Washington, said it was “very exciting” that multiple major projects are slated for the area, particularly the waterfront. “Our waterfront is one of our biggest attractions and economic drivers,” De Giorgio added.
Town finance director Jessica Lamendola said that the capital plan continues to reduce debt and that over the next five years the town will pay down $68.6 million of long-term debt in the general fund and town outside village fund. Next year, the town will pay down $11.3 million of general fund debt and $3.68 million for town outside village debt.
“The process is only beginning with the passage of this capital plan,” Lamendola said at Tuesday’s hearing.
Town officials said they will aggressively apply for more grants to reduce costs for taxpayers.