DAVIDSON – Town residents will have the opportunity to express their views about a possible $16.335 million public facilities bond referendum at a town board public hearing to be held Tuesday, July 24.
At their July 10 meeting, Davidson commissioners voted unanimously to schedule the public hearing, to be held during the board meeting that begins at 6 p.m., as the required next step on the path to placing a bond package item on the November ballot.
A final decision about pursuing the bond referendum is expected at a specially scheduled town board session to be held Tuesday, Aug. 7, starting at 7 p.m. The adjusted meeting date (the board’s regular meeting day would be Aug. 14) was selected due to commissioner travel plans.
The bond funds would be used to finance a two-part upgrade of town facilities. As currently budgeted, money from the proposed bond package would provide:
• $7.956 million for renovations and additions to transform the 32,000-square-foot former Davidson IB School building on South Street into municipal office headquarters
• $3.870 million for expansions and renovations at the current town hall building on Main Street to house police and fire department operations
• $3.650 million in a “soft cost” category to cover all fixtures, furniture and miscellaneous items required to get both buildings ready for use
• $342,000 in security, cabling and associated expenses
• $200,000 in bond issuance fees
At the board’s July 10 meeting, Assistant Town Manager Dawn Blobaum said efforts have been made to identify areas where estimated costs could be reduced. She said a scaled-back approach on exterior materials, window repairs and other planned improvements at the former school building could potentially shave $500,000 off expenditures and eliminating plans for a new 24-space parking lot near town hall could save an additional $279,000.
Blobaum presented a revised estimated that – with those changes and more – could lower total cost for the public facilities upgrade to around $15.266 million.
At this stage of the bond referendum process, with the July 24 public hearing looming as the next phase, commissioners still have options. They can:
• Cancel plans for the public facilities bond package
• Proceed with plans for a November referendum on the $16.335 million package
• Proceed with plans for a November referendum on a reduced amount.
To complete all the state review guidelines related to plans for a municipal bond referendum and have the issue placed on the November ballot, a decision must be made in August.