Almond discusses plans for gaming revenue, police station

Almond discusses plans for gaming revenue, police station

The Robinson Green Beretta Corporation prepared this rendering of the new Lincoln police station addition proposed as a $3.3 million resolution to be decided upon at the Financial Town Meeting in May.

LINCOLN - Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond went before the Budget Board last Thursday night to outline details for the revised police station addition plans, as well as talk about handling Twin River Casino revenue in the long-term.

Currently, gaming revenue from video lottery terminals, or VLTs, is put into a capital reserve fund for the town after the money exceeds a $5.2 million cap imposed by Lincoln officials in 2008.

Almond told The Breeze he has proposed lowering that cap to $5 million, ensuring that more gaming revenue goes directly into the fund each year as casinos open in Massachusetts. The closest location in Plainville has been approved for slots only and is scheduled to open by spring 2015.

"Our plan is we've anticipated it will decline," Almond said, though not below the cap.

By moving that cap down by $200,000 each year, he said, "We feel we have left ourselves a significant layer of protection."

As for the police station, the plans have changed slightly since a $1.92 resolution for Phase 1 was approved last year by voters at the Financial Town Meeting. A $900,000 resolution was expected to be proposed this year for Phase 2.

But because Almond said language was inadvertently added that made funds revert back to the capital account after June 30, $1.93 million was not used in the last fiscal year, and is therefore available again as "unexpended credit."

This year, a $3.3 million resolution has been proposed to fund a 4,400-square-foot addition, which is smaller than the 6,600-square-foot one proposed last year.

Almond said original plans were "abandoning more space than we needed to."

"We realized we were emptying out a lot of usable space," he said, so the decision was made to "shrink the size of the addition and renovate more of the existing facility."

Money for renovations is included in the resolution, he said.


Who wrote this article. There were no Valley Breeze reporters present at this presentation.
There was no "inadvertent" language added to the resolution as presented to the FTM in May 2013 regarding this resolution. This language was intentionally inserted to make sure unspent funds were returned to the source funds.

In a study conducted by Edwards & Kelcey Inc. concluded that the department’s present facility is incapable of being expanded in any meaningful way!
So why is the Town Council and Budget Board not taking issue with the Town Administrator on this project?
Why is the Town Council not putting this multimillion dollar project to the voters in a town wide referendum?
Why is the Budget Board allowing the project to be broken down into multiyear budgets as to hide the true cost of the project? Maybe it’s a deal they struck with the Town Administrator over drinks at the Lodge after the last financial town meeting. So much for fair and impartial thinking!
This project is nothing more than insanity, to build a police annex that costs more than the main building. Talk about throwing good money after bad!
Perhaps the voters of Lincoln will just need to read it for themselves:
Services and Facilities Element page, SE-19.

If a new police and fire complex isn't in our future, I would like to see it expanded "up" one day if possible. Combine fire and police maybe?

Congrats and good luck!

It seems like the more the original plans and price change the more the Town Administrator seems to push this issue. He says they keep realizing the original plans had too much space? Then he, in very detailed fashion, explains the financing. I'm glad he understands it, because no one else can follow this shell game with the funding.

Seen this before