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Framing the Cost-Benefit Analysis: Multi-Board Meeting Recap

On January 9th, the Board of Selectmen hosted a multi-board meeting to talk about how to set the context for decisions about the Lincoln School project and a community center project.

The ultimate goal is to make well-informed, rational, and forward-thinking decisions that benefit the town and hold up under future scrutiny. Doing so requires that we all engage in a complicated and nuanced cost/benefit analysis.

Those at the meeting reviewed a draft of the Campus Projects Briefing Document, which outlines questions that need to be answered in order to evaluate the projects choices that will be put before us.  This is a living document that has been updated to reflect ideas heard at the meeting.

Also at the meeting, the Finance Committee and Capital Planning Committee provided answers to some of the questions being raised.  A few take-aways:

  • The Town should be able to borrow up to $100 million and still retain our AAA bond rating (the best rating), assuming that we formalize some management policies and keep adequate cash reserves going forward. Note this is not a recommendation on whether we should or want to bond that amount.
  • For a median property (median house value is $972,200), property taxes will rise by about $275-$310 for each $10million borrowed.
  • Lincoln’s debt service vs. operating budget ratio is currently low, and will remain within a tenable range for total borrowing of up to $100 million.
  • The campus projects are the largest capital projects on the immediate horizon. Click here to see CapCom’s January 9th Slides, which give more information about capital project history and those on the horizon.
  • You can watch the entire meeting here.
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