TOWN MEETING ’20: $8.7 million in capital spending proposed

Includes $6.8 million for new sewer main

Abington voters on Monday will be asked to approve more than $8.7 million in capital spending on a range of projects that include new security measures at two of the town’s schools, new police cruisers, and repairs to the drive-up window outside the treasurer/collector’s office.

The biggest item, however, involves replacing the main sewer line that runs from Summer Street to Brockton Avenue at cost of just under $6.8 million.

Capital items are generally one-time costs that involve purchasing, replacing, repairing, or upgrading equipment or materials that town departments need to help the town operate. Because they are not recurring expenses, these costs are not included in the annual department operating budgets.

Town meeting voters will also be asked to approve a $55 million operating budget that funds services such as schools, police, fire, library, and the council on aging.

Capital spending can be paid for through a number of different avenues. The money to pay for two new police cruisers, a new car for the deputy fire chief, and installing new fire alarms at town hall, for example, will come from the town’s certified free cash, which is made up from Abington’s fiscal year 2019 budgetary surplus.

The town will borrow money to pay for larger capital needs such as repairs to three Abington fire vehicles, and installing new security cameras and entrance doors at the Beaver Brook and Woodsale elementary schools.

Other items are paid for by user fees, such as the $15,000 Strawberry Valley Golf Course would like to spend to repair fencing.

Money for the new sewer main will come from sewer fees paid for by Abington home and business owners. DPW Superintendent John Stone said the main was installed more than 30 years ago at the start of the town’s phased sewer installation effort. A pump located under the DPW building at the corner of Progress and Summer forces wastewater through the metal pipe uphill to a manhole located on Brockton Avenue, where it then runs to Brockton’s sewer treatment plant. Stone said the main has already broken twice; once in 2015 on Vernon Street from corrosion due to gases inside the pipe, and again last year when acidic soils along Summer Street helped corrode the pipe from the outside in. The new pipe would be made out of modern plastic materials and be more resilient, Stone said.