Work on the Schlumberger site has begun. The $680,000 projected cost will be covered without more money from the taxpayers, but it may be a sprint to finish the work in time for the June opening of a musical production in the theater building. \u201cThe site work has started,\u201d First Selectman Rudy Marconi said Monday. \u201cWe have a meeting with the contractor to review the schedule.\u201d The targeted completion date is the \u201cend of May,\u201d he said. ACT of Connecticut, the alliance of local Broadway people that is renting and renovating the former Schlumberger auditorium, has its first production \u2014 the musical Mamma Mia! \u2014 scheduled from June 7 to 24. The $680,000 covers site work \u2014 a loop road, parking areas, drainage, and lighting \u2014 for the two tenants that are renting and restoring two town-owned former Schlumberger buildings. ACT of Connecticut has the auditorium, or Schlumberger theater building. The design firm BassamFellows is putting its offices in the Philip Johnson building. It was March 27 when Marconi won the approval of the selectmen and then the finance board for a plan to finance the project without having to ask the taxpayers for more money. To come up with the $680,000 needed, Marconi is tapping $480,000 of state grant money that comes to the town each year earmarked for road work \u2014 called the \u201ctown aid road\u201d account \u2014 and will use $200,000 of a projected $300,000 surplus in various town department accounts where a spending freeze was instituted for most of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. It was the $200,000 in transfers that needed finance board approval \u2014 using the state road aid money required no action since the money will be used for road-related construction. With the $200,000 in transfers approved, the town departments\u2019 projected 2017-18 surplus is reduced from about $300,000 to about $100,000. The school board and administration also have a partial spending freeze on, and after some scrambling now expect to complete the 2017-18 year without needing to seek an additional appropriation to end the year in the black \u2014 as required by state law. Schlumberger costs Marconi eventually won unanimous support from the Board of Finance \u2014 but not without some fairly aggressive back and forth. \u201cWe\u2019ve put a lot of money into Schlumberger,\u201d said finance board Chairman Dave Ulmer. Finance board member Jessica Mancini suggested the decision go to a town meeting. \u201cI think this is something the town should weigh in on, given the controversy over Schlumberger from the beginning,\u201d she said. Marconi argued that voters had weighed in with their actions over the last few years \u2014 rejecting the proposed \u201cart collector\u201d sale, then approving long-term leases to tenants who will restore the two buildings. \u201cI\u2019d say, sitting in on all those meetings, we\u2019re doing exactly what they asked us to do,\u201d Marconi said. \u201cThey didn\u2019t want us to sell those buildings.\u201d Underpinning the finance board discussion was a report on finances of the Schlumberger purchase, showing that the town had accumulated costs and expenses totaling $7,750,000, starting with the $6-million purchase in 2012. Those costs are partly offset by $5,550,000 in income from selling two parcels \u2014 $4,300,000 for the sale of 10 acres off Sunset Lane to Charter Group Partners and $1,250,000 for the sale of five acres off Old Quarry Road to Steve Zemo. Substantial annual tax income from the two properties that were sold and are being developed is expected to eventually bolster the income side of the town\u2019s Schlumberger ledger. On the 10-acre site, 77 Sunset Lane, a project of 54 condominium units is nearing completion. Two projects are being developed on the five acres off Old Quarry Road \u2014 a memory care facility and a complex of 16 apartments with storage unit below them. While his estimates on the two Old Quarry projects are rougher than those for Sunset Lane, Assesssor Al Garzi said a conservative estimate would be \u201c$900,000 to $1.4 million for all three.\u201d And those taxes will keep being paid year after year. Skydome A third former Schlumberger building remains on the site \u2014 the odd warehouse-like structure known as the \u201cSkydome building.\u201d It is now slated for use as town storage. To make Skydome usable, $176,000 in costs appear in the proposed 2018-19 capital budget that will come before voters in May. There\u2019s $125,000 for a roof replacement, $23,000 to replace air conditioning, and $28,000 for prefabricated storage units. The plan is to use 30% to 40% of the space for document storage. The town might try to rent out some of the space left in the building. While the finance board\u2019s approval of the $200,000 in transfers for the site work was eventually unanimous, Marconi was surprised by the debate over it. The town is obligated by the leases with BassamFellows and ACT \u2014 agreements approved by voters \u2014 to do the site work, he said. The money will have to come from somewhere. If the finance board didn\u2019t accept Marconi\u2019s plan, the alternative would be asking taxpayers for more money. \u201cWe have to make you sweat,\u201d said Sean Connelly. \u201cYou did,\u201d said Marconi.