Chatham Officials Brace for More Than $37 Million in Capital Expenses

CHATHAM – Officials in Chatham are bracing for what could be more than $37 million in capital expenses over the next five years.

The figure was delivered to selectmen last month following an interim report conducted by researchers with the Edward J. Collins Center for Public Management at UMASS Boston.

The on-going, grant-funded study is seeking to review the town’s five-year capital planning expenses and to help officials prepare for high cost expenditures.

According to the report, much of the expense – nearly $19 million – will come as a result of municipal water and sewer projects. Millions more will be required public works endeavors and equipment.

Monica Lamboy, a representative with the Collins Center, told selectmen that a major consideration in the coming years will be deciding which projects are given the green-light and which will have to wait.

“The hard part is making hard choices,” she explained, “There are never enough dollars available for capital needs.”

Among the suggestions presented by Lamboy was that the town begin to consider these major expenditures as yearly expenses as opposed to line-item single-instance costs.

While the $37 million figure is certainly daunting, the report also indicates that costs could likely be supplemented through state and federal financing programs as well as various grant initiatives.

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