Republican-American Wednesday , March 28
FALLS VILLAGE — If the Region 1 Board of Education gives its approval, residents will be asked to vote on two questions at the upcoming budget referendum on May 8: the proposed budget and an appropriation for a building project that includes reroofing a portion of Housatonic Valley Regional High School, an upgrade to heating systems and meeting requirements for handicapped access.
The standing building committee of Region 1 is recommending the work be combined into one large project, taking into consideration the historically low interest rates currently in place, said Business Manager Samuel J. Herrick.
“Members consider the district’s debt service requirements and other liabilities when scheduling capital projects and its impact on the budget. They believe they can achieve savings through economies of scale of managing the work as one project rather than three individual projects.”
Committee Chairman Frank Perotti of Canaan said he favors adding the work required byt the Americans with Disabilities Act into the plan. “We have no choice. It has to be done to meet the requirements. We won’t be doing all of it this year, but we have to come up with a plan.”
He said the district will be getting 43.2 percent reimbursement, “which is a help.”
Working with Jacunski Humes Architects from Berlin, and ADA compliance consultant Christopher Laux, the committee came up with the proposal that has a price of $3.5 million.
After taking grants into consideration, the cost of the roof to taxpayers will be $1.3 million; the heating system, $260,000; and the ADA piece, $738,270, leaving a bond issue amount of $2.3 million. Grants are available for the roof and ADA work, but not the heating system.
Baffled. Why don’t we just give them one year contracts if this is going to happen like clockwork and the ABC board (who has to work with them year round, correct?) “fears sending them the wrong message?” Wouldn’t it be more intelligent to insist on fulfilling existing commitments and revert to a performance-based model, as is typical in most businesses?