Truro’s proposed new DPW facility is one of two topics on the March 8th public forum agenda for public works projects in consideration. Mar 8 Forum details are here.
TPRTA recently made public comments, below, asking the select board to conduct an independent review of costs and additional steps to promote transparent discussion of this project. To illustrate the sums cited in the most recent documents prepared by Weston & Sampson as of this date, please see the attached cost summary of current options and graphic depiction of costs, including traditional debt service options. If other options open up for debt service, we will update this data.
TPRTA Public Comments on proposed new DPW Facility
Truro is considering the largest public works project ever to be paid for by Truro taxpayers, for the proposed new DPW Facility. No one questions that a new facility is needed.
Based upon the most recent documents by Weston & Sampson, the proposed DPW facility is estimated to have a base cost of $29.6 Million, not including site development costs. With four site development options in consideration, adjusted costs range from $32.1 M to $33.9 M. Assuming the lowest cost at $32 M, the debt service on a 20-year bond at 5% would bring the total taxpayer tab for construction to $51 M and at 7% would bring it to $59.8 M. Bonds for 30 years would bring these figures to $62.1 M and $76.9 M. respectively. These are staggering sums.
At the same time, the Town will be asking taxpayers to take on other capital projects that will add even more to the Town’s debt service and long-term taxpayer burden.
Residents have begun to question whether the costs proposed are inflated and whether the scope of the proposed facility is actually needed, especially considering that 57% of the proposed square footage costs are for vehicle storage and maintenance.
Taxpayers will expect to know whether other options and practices – particularly on vehicle storage costs and well construction – are being seriously considered. We know you have engaged among yourselves and with others in discussions on this matter, for which we thank you. We believe an independent expert review of this project and other large capital projects is worth considering.
We ask the Board place three items on future agenda to educate, gain taxpayer confidence and achieve voter support for the DPW Project.
- Re-activate the Building Committee and populate it with residents who cannot profit financially from any proposal, nor can any organization with which they have a fiduciary relationship.
- Retain an independent engineer “ombudsman” to work with the Building Committee to review proposed DPW plans and budgets in order to recommend the best DPW project to you and to voters. This independent reviewer should not be an employee nor able to bid on any resulting RFP for the DPW project or any other under their review.
- Temporarily restrict Weston & Sampson eligibility to bid on any RFP for the DPW project unless and until the final cost recommendations and facility features are established and finalized through independent expert review. This temporary restriction will eliminate any doubt about whether W&S cost proposals benefitted them as the actual site developer. This transparency benefits the Town as well.
With these steps, the Select Board will be able to confidently ask the voters to consider the best option for the DPW at a cost they will accept and set a new process in motion for review of other large building projects. Thank you for your consideration.