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Friday, January 19 News

Shouldn’t ‘Board of Education make decisions on final cost?’

To the Editor:

On Monday, Greg Cava, chairman of the Building Committee for the AgSTEM project, is going to ask the full Board of Education for the authority for the Building Committee to spend the $32 plus million, which is the anticipated amount to complete the project.

If I understood correctly, Greg and appointed members of the Building Committee will have approval to spend money without having to present the costs to the full Board of Education for approval.

Reference, approximately 41 minutes into videotape of meeting of Dec. 4, 2017.

This raises two questions for me.

Are the elected members of the Board of Education going to delegate their fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers to non-elected members of the Building Committee?

This project is expected to go out to bid in June 2018, so the actual cost will not be known until July 2018 or possibly later.

Shouldn’t the Board of Education members make the decisions on the final anticipated cost and unexpected costs leading up to the start of the project?

There are already unexpected costs, such as temporary science labs, so we can expect that the total cost of the project may exceed $32 million, which will have to be paid by the three towns and not necessarily reimbursable by the state of Connecticut.

This project has been approved by the voters and by the Bonding Commission of the state of Connecticut. However, I urge the taxpayers to stay informed as the project unfolds to ensure that the cost stays within budget.

This is actually easy to do as minutes from the Building Committee are available on line and every Board of Education meeting is videotaped and available on line as well.

Joan Lodsin

Washington

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