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East Hampton Town official foresees debt below $100M

East Hampton Town Hall is shown on Feb.

East Hampton Town Hall is shown on Feb. 26, 2016. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

East Hampton’s budget director said the town government is on track to have less than $100 million in debt by the end of the year, down from $141 million in debt in 2009.

Len Bernard said the town government will retire about $12 million in principal debt by the end of the year while borrowing only about $5 million or $6 million for capital projects.

“We are well below where we need to be to continue that downward trend of town indebtedness,” Bernard said at a town board work session.

The town’s debt payments will decrease annually, down to about $9 million in 2021, Bernard said.

Supervisor Larry Cantwell said “we don’t necessarily see the benefit of that in our budget today” but noted lower debt is important for the town’s future.

Bernard discussed the town’s projected debt while going over a draft of a three-year capital project plan. The draft outlines 84 projects, including replacing the old town hall building, constructing a new senior center and upgrading the town’s communication system.

“We’ve got a lot of projects we’ve got started,” Bernard said, noting a new town hall generator was tested April 3. “We should be focusing in on completing those projects before we add too many more.”

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